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President deLa Repulique of Niger, S.E.M. Mohamed Bazoum (left) presenting certificate of the Award of Order Du Merite Du Niger, Operateur Economique et Philanthropy Dr Commandeur to Alhaji Aliko Dangote, President/Chief Executive, Dangote Industries Ltd, on Wednesday, August 3, 2022, in Niamey, Niger Republic.

Day Dangote Bags Nigerien National Honour Over Foundation’s Health Intervention

President deLa Repulique of Niger, S.E.M. Mohamed Bazoum (left) discussing with Alhaji Aliko Dangote, President/Chief Executive, Dangote Industries Ltd in his office before the presentation of the Award of Order Du Merite Du Niger, Operateur Economique et Philanthropy Dr Commandeur to him on Wednesday, August 3, 2022, in Niamey, Niger Republic.

By AbuSatar Hamed

…Signs MoU With Bilk Gates Foundation On Immunization Of Nigeriens

NIAMEY-NIGER – The Nigerien President Mohamed Bazoum has confered on Alhaji Aliko Dangote with the Niger National Award over his health interventions in the country.

According to a release e-signed and made available to StarTrend Int’l & online – www.startrendinternational.com by Francis Awowole-Brown of Media & Communication Relations, Branding & Communications Department, Dangote Group, the President/Chief Executive of Dangote Industries Limited, Aliko Dangote was recently decorated with the Commander of the Order of Merit of Niger award by President Bazoum in Niamey.

The certificate of conferment presented to Dangote in Niamey, the nation’s capital, reads, “the award was in appreciation for your services rendered to the Republic of Niger and as well as a tribute to your business acumen and philanthropy.”

Besides, Dangote and Bill Gates Foundations also used the occasion to sign an MOU on the immunization of Nigeriens.

It would be recalled that the Aliko Dangote Foundation (ADF) intervened in various ways to improve healthcare and routine immunisation in Niger Republic and her neighbouring countries that ibcluded Nigeria and Chad.

Aliko Dangote had earlier been conferred with the Commander of the National Order of Valour of the Republic of Cameroon, and the Grand Commander of the National Order of the Republic of Benin.

In a related development, Aliko Dangote Foundation, alongside the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) and GAVI the Vaccine Alliance have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the government of the Republic of Niger on a collaboration for improving the Expanded Programme on Immunisation in Diffa, Maradi and Zinder regions, which are along the country’s southern border with Nigeria.

The Nigerien National award given by President Mohamed Bazoum is in recognition of the various health-related interventions by the Aliko Dangote Foundation including financial support to the tune of $500,000 to help fight a previous Meningitis outbreak and another cholera outbreak; NGN250 million for the provision of food for refugees and displaced persons; and $1,000,000 (one million dollars) support for the enhanced routine immunisation in the three identified regions of Diffa, Maradi and Zinder.

Aliko Dangote Foundation and BMGF had played key roles in a historic certification by the World Health Organisation of a polio-free Nigeria and Africa in August 2020. The same successful template which was applied to ensure eradication of polio in northern Nigeria in partnership with six states which included Bauchi, Borno, Kaduna, Kano, Sokoto and Yobe is also being applied by ADF to enhance routine immunisation and adequate vaccination around Nigeria’s borders with the Republics of Niger and Chad.

The three regions of Diffa, Maradi and Zinder share a common border with Northern Nigeria and together make up almost 28% of Niger’s land area and about 40% of the country’s population.

Speaking on the MoU partnership, which was signed in May 2022, the Managing Director of Aliko Dangote Foundation disclosed that “ADF is committing $1 million over 3 years; BMGF are providing $2 million, while GAVI is bringing in $10 million worth of vaccines under this MoU. ADF and BMGF are bringing in the money required to stimulate demand for the vaccines that GAVI is bringing in to ensure maximum uptake and coverage.”

President deLa Repulique of Niger, S.E.M. Mohamed Bazoum (left) decorating Alhaji Aliko Dangote, President/Chief Executive, Dangote Industries Ltd with the Award of Order Du Merite Du Niger, Operateur Economique et Philanthropy Dr Commandeur on Wednesday, August 3, 2022, in Niamey, Niger Republic.

The MoU was signed between the Government of Republic of Niger represented by the Ministry of Public Health, Population and Social Affairs, Ministry of Interior & Decentralisation and Ministry of Finance on one hand, and the Incorporated Trustees of Aliko Dangote Foundation (ADF), Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), two independent endowed charities and GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance, a Global Public-Private Partnership on the other hand.

The Foundations are committed to providing technical and financial support to the Government of Niger to strengthen its vaccine programmes gradually and sustainably improve its coverage in the Diffa, Maradi and Zinder regions in order to prevent vaccine-preventable diseases.

Gavi, according to the MoU, will continue its support for immunisation in the selected priority districts in the three regions, in accordance with the agreement already signed with the Government of Niger, the strategic objectives of the Health System Strengthening Project (HSS3) grant and the approved financing.

In order to protect the target populations against poliomyelitis and other vaccine-preventable diseases, the government of Niger is committed to strengthening the routine vaccine programme and to reduce morbidity and mortality in the regions of Diffa, Maradi and Zinder.

The objective of the MoU is to collaborate on strengthening vaccination in Niger to improve the delivery of routine vaccine services in the three regions in order to achieve full vaccination coverage of 90% of the target population by December 2024; to ensure that at least 90% of districts achieve 90% Penta 3 vaccination coverage; to vaccinate 90% of the zero doses identified; to stop poliovirus transmission and maintain polio-free status; and to ensure consistent national funding and procurement of vaccines in order to secure a sustained and steady supply of all routine vaccines throughout the country.

In August 2020, President Muhammadu Buhari praised Bill and Melinda Gates, Aliko Dangote and Emeka Offor at the formal certification of the Wild Polio Virus eradication in the African region during the virtual session of the 70th World Health Organisation (WHO) regional committee for Africa in the State House, Abuja.

His commendation came as Aliko Dangote emphasised the need for governments across Africa, particularly the federal and state governments in Nigeria, to increase their budgetary allocations to the health sector to improve basic healthcare for the people.

Dangote, in his remarks at the event, expressed deep satisfaction at the final eradication of wild polio in Nigeria, and by extension Africa after years of hard work and collaboration among stakeholders.

L-R, President deLa Repulique of Niger, S.E.M.Mohamed Bazoum (left) with Alhaji Aliko Dangote, President/Chief Executive, Dangote Industries Ltd during presentation of the Award of Order Du Merite Du Niger, Operateur Economique et Philanthropy Dr Commandeur to him on Wednesday, August 3, 2022′ in Niamey, Niger Republic while former Governor of Jigawa State, Mohamed Badaru Abubaka (right) looks on.

The renowned humanitarian, who was commended alongside the Co-Chair of Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Mr. Bill Gates, pledged to devote more of his wealth to support the provision of adequate quality healthcare to curb maternal and child mortality.

Dangote commended the efforts of top officials of the Foundation, including the CEO, Zouera Youssoufou and Community Engagement Lead, Ahmed Iya for their untiring efforts in ensuring the end of polio in Nigeria, as well as the various state and federal government agencies and development partners who collaborated to make the certification possible.

They include Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, WHO, United States Agency for International Development (USAID), UK Department for International Development (DfID) (now FCDO), Federal Ministry of Health, the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) and Governors cum Health Ministries of Kano, Kaduna, Bauchi, Borno, Sokoto and Yobe States.

About Idowu Hamed

Publisher and Editor in Chief - Magazine and Online Email: startrendinter@gmail.com