While laying the foundation for the Mariya Sansuni Dantata Ulra-Modern Theatre and Diagnostic Complex at Murtala Muhammed Hospital in Kano on October 3, Aliko Dangote announced another construction project for the northern state of Nigeria. Dangote, a cement industrialist, humanitarian, and leader of the Dangote Foundation, also happens to be Nigeria’s richest man.
As reported by Nigeria’s Channels Television, Dangote plans to build a 1000-bed hospital in Kano—projected by officials to be one of the largest and most ambitious healthcare centers in the Kano state.
At the foundation ceremony, Dangote discussed his motivation behind building the medical facility in Kano, his home state. Dangote wants to end the demanding costs of medical tourism — the process in which people travel to another country to receive greater care than they would in their own country for improved affordability, better access to care, and higher quality of care. According to Central Bank of Nigeria Governor Lamido Sanusi, medical tourism in Nigeria costs N80 billion per year.
Dangote further emphasized his dedication to achieve steady health programs for Nigerians. “It is not about creating a modern medical facility in this great city of ours. It is about our commitment to systematically improving health and well being…” He emphasized every Nigerian’s right to high quality health services.
With Dangote Foundation’s support, improved infrastructure, preventive healthcare, and training for skilled health workers can be realized.
Many African officials commended Dangote on his efforts and enthusiasm in helping the Nigerian people and economy. Kano State Governor Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso commended Dangote, noting that the hospital will support surgical operations. Kwankwaso also encouraged other wealthy Africans or philanthropists to follow in Aliko Dangote’s footsteps. The State Commissioner for Health, Labaran Yusuf, praised Dangote for revolutionizing quality of healthcare in the state.
Aliko Dangote has considerably increased his philanthropic efforts over the past twelve months. In addition to infrastructure projects, Aliko Dangote has been influential in funding several operations to empower Nigerian women, as well as starting a program providing grants to poor women and children, to be used as income to meet their family and human needs. Dangote also provided significant monetary donations toward flood relief in Nigeria last November, as well as donating to a number of Nigerian universities.
– Laura Reinacher