Friday, October 12, 2012
DANGOTE targets N100 billion flood relief funds!
While inaugurating the 34-man committee, President Goodluck Jonathan said that, their selection was based on merit and their record of immense humanitarian assistance to the government and Nigerians.
The co-chairman of the committee, billionaire Aliko Dangote, said, members of his team will not hesitate to make huge donations for the victims because, they have done similar things to assist victims of such disasters in other countries, he believes they will do more in their own country.
Alhaji Dangote, while appreciating the government and the people of the country said, as executives and business magnets, they have benefited from Nigeria as a country so, they owe it to Nigerians to reciprocate the gesture.
He said, “We are targeting N100 billion minimum. We do not want to look at it as a government issue. For some of us when there were disasters in other countries we helped and so we expect people to help us.”
“Government is doing their own but we as a private sector, we are very serious because we are donating our money out of our own goodwill and I believe Nigerians know that with the calibre of people that we have in the committee, these are people that have actually benefited from Nigeria, without Nigeria we wouldn’t have been where we are today.”
Promising Nigerians that they will make sure their efforts reach the victims of the disaster, he said, “We are ready to come out and assist and so if anybody donates his money he wants to be reassured that his money will be judiciously spent, the people who are affected will get what they deserve.”
President Goodluck Jonathan while inaugurating the committee members told them that, he knows their capabilities and he believes they will not make any delays in discharging their responsibilities because they were selected based on their proven integrity and not credentials.
The President explained, “All of you here are in one way or the other been involved in philanthropic duties because this is an assignment that you need people with empathy not people that will see it as a privilege of touring or getting allowances for travels.”
While expressing confidence in Dangote and Agbakoba as the head of the team, the President said, “With the credible people that we have here, this assignment will be carried to the letter and will be an honour to our fatherland.”
Piqued that a whole lot of the country is presently flooded, including his home state, Bayelsa, the President said, at least 25 per cent of the country is affected, and the issue is no longer domestic but international.
The President observed, “I spoke to my governor yesterday, he was so desperate because he said people do not even have food because all the channels of communications to Bayelsa State has been blocked by water. What we are expecting next is to begin to see the goodies coming and we will try as much as possible to raise funds both locally and internationally to compliment’s government’s effort in terms of making sure that our fellow Nigerians do not really suffer from the devastating calamity. We will go round and see what needs to be done to ensure this does not reoccur again.”
In a nationwide broadcast on Tuesday morning the President said, the committee was inaugurated because “Nigeria was facing its own unfair share of the global phenomenon of flooding.” In addition, the committee was responsible for “raising funds to compliment or augment federal government’s effort to cushion the immediate effect of flooding and the resettlement and recovery of affected persons,” and “advise government on how to handle victims.”
“We believe that this committee can conclude this job in 12 months. The flood, God willing by middle of November, will go down, after that what next? You will still be working and I belief that within 12 months we will be able to see how we can resettle these people and they will begin to live their normal live,” he continued.
“So you have enormous responsibility but we believe you are equal to the task. Let me especially thank our development partners for accepting to serve on this special committee, Nigeria will continue to be grateful to you especially to the organizations you represent. Let us assure you on behalf of government and people that we are grateful for your commitment and efforts to serve our country,” he added.
“Let me also use this opportunity to assure Nigerians again that the present administration will do everything possible to ameliorate the impact of this devastating flood on our people. We will do everything to cushion their pain, and we have put up a strong team made up of credible men and women who will also help government to achieve this,” he concluded.