•PLWDs, women, old people, among beneficiaries
• N10,000 for free is commendable — Islamic cleric
• I aim to have the biggest private social programme in Kwara — Shagaya
By Demola Akinyemi ,Ilorin..
Salman Shagaya Foundation said thousand of lives in Kwara are being touched by its relief scheme, which targets old people, PLWDs and other vulnerable groups, founder Alhaji Sheriff Shagaya started on Saturday.
He spoke during the 17th occasion of the foundation’s social safety net.
Shagaya said the programme which has grown from 100 to 1,500 beneficiaries in 6 years has proven to be impactful for petty traders and the less privileged, saying he is joyful to see beneficiaries finding support and hope for a better living in the initiative.
While acknowledging Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq-led efforts under KWASSIP to lift people out of poverty, Shagaya said he aim to have the biggest private sector-led social programme in the Northcentral in the nearest future.
Meanwhile, Shagaya said the foundation is making efforts to expand in the coming years, citing subsidized Agricultural inputs and tools as targeted areas.
He said,”It’s been 6 years since the first relief scheme. We started with the sum of N10,000 for 100 people. Now, we are giving N1,500.
“It is now more than a scheme. It has become a source of support and hope for a better living for petty traders and other vulnerable groups.
“The beneficiaries are drawn from rural communities across the three senatorial districts. That’s what distinguishes it. We are giving the old, sick, and PLWDs who might have not had access to credit facilities funds for petty businesses and to cater for their basic needs. This is free money. Not loans. And each gets N10,000.
“In the towns, this may not mean much. But for people in the rural areas who are targeted, you realise it touches their lives positively. You find out it makes a difference for them and make them very happy. It is seeing such a smile on their face that gives me the biggest joy.
“We do not politicise the programme. We only see humanity. It is a private investment aim to complement the efforts of Kwara State Government.”
Islamic scholar Sheikh AbdulRazaq Adama Thanni commended the foundation for its commitment to supporting the poor which he said is uncommon in the state.
He said,”Sheriff is writing his name in gold in Kwara. We have many rich people from the state. But we have a few spending their wealth on the same course. What is unique is the non-partisanship of the gesture. Both in private and public, Allah enjoined the rich to care for the vulnerable in society.
“This is what Shagaya has been doing for years. We have seen thousands of people who have benefited. And we urge the affluent to emulate him. May God not bring him down and make him tower above all adversities in his business.”
One of the beneficiaries,Habibat Amoke, a petty trader, said the money will augment the capital for her roasted maize business.
While thanking Shagaya, another beneficiary Juwaira Gogo a septuagenarian from Kaiama local government, said the money comes in handy to get her drugs and other basic needs.
Chairman Kwara Disability Group in Politics, Teslim Balogun said: “We really appreciate him for what he does for the people living with disabilities. Not many remember us but Sheriff has been doing well with us. Our members are captured in the scheme. We pray to God to be with him.”
The programme was attended by Kwara commissioner for tertiary education Hon Senior Ibrahim Sulyman; commissioner for education and human capital development; Saadatu Modibbo Kawu; Technical Assistant to Kwara Governor on Investments, Alhaji Kabir Shagaya; Managing Director Asolar Systems, Alhaji Hakeem Shagaya, and Mukhtar Shagaya.
Others are His Highness Oba AbdulWahab Abiodun Oyeyemi Ajagungbade1, Alatanda of Atanda Land; His Highness Oba Tajudeen Olanrewaju Bello Olaitan 2, The Olusabi of Elerinjare Ibobo; His Highness Oba AbdulRahman Adio Onikoyi Onikoji Oga 1, Onikoko of Koko Araromi; Alhaji Baba Olosasa; Alhaji Mustapha Kobe; Alhaji Baba Adefalu, and Alhaji Uthman Jagunma.