FACT CHECK: Is Nigerian Billionaire Aliko Dangote Giving Weekly Allowances To All Nigerian Citizens?

Trevor Schakohl | Legal Reporter

A post shared on Facebook claims Nigerian billionaire Aliko Dangote will provide weekly 20,000 naira allowances to all Nigerian citizens.

Verdict: False

Dangote’s company has denied such claims.

Fact Check:

Dangote, the founder and chair of industrial firm Dangote Group, has donated 1 billion naira (about $2.6 million) to support the Nigerian government in curbing the spread of the new coronavirus, CNN reported. He is the richest man in Africa, with an estimated net worth of $8.3 billion as of press time, according to Forbes.

The Facebook post claims that Dangote has further pledged to provide all Nigerian citizens with weekly 20,000 naira allowances, saying, “Aliko Dangote is set to put a smile on every Nigerian citizens face. He wants to do what federal government failed to do!” It urges users to “click to apply” without providing a link.

Had he done so, it would have been picked up by media outlets, yet none have reported on it, and the Aliko Dangote Foundation has not put out a press release. The Dangote Group also refuted the claim in an April 15 Facebook post.

“We have been alerted of a scam purportedly sanctioned by Aliko Dangote Foundation and claiming to pay people a weekly allowance of N20,000,” reads the statement. “This malicious act aimed at defrauding unsuspecting victims is currently being perpetuated through several channels including WhatsApp, emails, sms, and dedicated website.”

While the Nigerian government doesn’t appear to have promised weekly allowances to its citizens, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari did announce on March 29 that conditional cash transfers would be paid to the “most vulnerable” for two months. Roughly 148,000 people received such payments between April 8 and April 14, according to the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs.

As of press time, Nigeria has reported 9,800 coronavirus cases and some 270 deaths, according to the Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center.

Trevor Schakohl

Legal Reporter
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