Nigeria’s mobile payments company, Paga, is partnering to execute the electronic funds transfer for the Dangote Foundation. The foundation  will give N400 million in grants to 2,000 women in each of the 20 LGAs within Lagos State. Each beneficiary will receive a one-off payment of N10,000 to apply towards petty trading and other small business projects that can boost and stabilize their household incomes.

Speaking on the partnership, Paga Co-Founder and Director of Business Development, Jay Alabraba said:

“It’s a great honor to partner with the Dangote Foundation and the Lagos State Government on this micro grants program. It will make a real difference in the lives of women that would otherwise not have access to funds they need to start small businesses and create a more steady income flow for them and their families.

At Paga, we operate  with the belief that small businesses are the true engine of economic growth and must be strongly encouraged at the grassroots level; and that is exactly what is happening with the micro grants program. Beyond Paga’s primary role of disbursing the grants securely and in real time to the beneficiaries via their’ mobile phones, we are also finding opportunities to educate beneficiaries and their families on financial services, such as savings and electronic payments, that make everyday life and small business operations so much easier. Alhaji Dangote and the Dangote Foundation are an inspiration to all – we look forward to expansion of the micro grants programs to other parts of Nigeria.”

Using electronic payments to disburse micro grants for the first time, the Dangote Foundation Program Operations Manager, Musa Bala also commented on the partnership…

“It is unfortunate that in our society and across Africa, women are usually the first to be affected by a negative turn in the economy.  The objective of the foundation is to empower women financially in the hope that they will then go on to empower themselves and their families by building micro businesses. We have already seen the positive impact this programme has had on women in the other states where micro funding has already been dispersed and we are confident that we will have similar results in this region.  

It is the first time we are using electronic payments to disperse micro funding and we are happy to be working with an experienced partner like Paga to make a difference in the lives of so many women within the LGA’s under the Lagos State Government. We  hope to maintain the partnership beyond Lagos state.”

The Dangote Foundation was set up by Aliko Dangote, in 1993 and has already given funds to 256,500  women in Kano, Jigawa,, Kogi, Adamawa, Borno and Yobe through the micro grants program. Women in all 774 local government areas across Nigeria will ultimately benefit from the scheme.