Osinbajo launches Kemi Adeosun’s ‘Dash Me Store,’ Nigeria’s online thrift-for-charity initiative

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, (right) with Mrs Kemi Adeosun (left), and another guest, during the launch of Dash Me Store, a thrift store for charity in Lagos, Nigeria, on Sunday, June 13, 2021. Photos: State House/Tolani Alli

• Says ‘grassroots planning helped our social investment programmes’

• As Kemi Adeosun gets applause for new initiative supporting the vulnerable via grassroot charities

Nigeria’s Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has launched has launched the ‘Dash Me Store,’ an online thrift-for-charity initiative in Lagos.

The initiative which turned out to be Nigeria’s first thrift-for-charity store, is an outfit of the Dash Me Foundation founded by the immediate past Finance Minister, Mrs Kemi Adeosun.

According to its founder, the store, inaugurated on Sunday, was established to mobilise resources for distribution to vulnerable people in society via grassroots charities.

Recalled Adeosun resigned as Nigeria’s minister in 2018 after controversies broke out over an alleged case of a forged National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) certificate she presented as part of her credentials.

She has since maintained a low profile after the incident, until she reemerged on Sunday at the inauguration of the outfit where she made her first official public appearance.

Vice President Osinbajo lauding the initiative, as he launched it, said, one factor responsible for the impactful implementation of the Social Investment Programmes (SIP) of the Buhari administration over the years is the realization that you can’t reach Nigerians if you don’t have a plan for the grassroots.

He contended that, this realization then influenced the structure designed for the SIP and is largely responsible for the successes of the programme (which is now regarded as one of the biggest social welfare schemes in the continent).

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According to the Vice President, “I am excited to be here for several reasons, but most of all because of Mrs Adeosun’s commitment to the notion that all service to man is actually service to God, and she took that very seriously.”

Prof. Osinbajo noted that “this is why, as Minister, she prioritized the Social Investment Programmes, when for the first time, the country voted almost N500 billion of our annual budget to welfare programmes which are called the Social Investment Programmes, which involved engaging 500,000 young men and women, and also giving microcredit to about 2 million traders and also a home-grown school feeding programme for 9.5 million children daily in public schools across the country.

“I am therefore really not surprised that she has decided to use some of her enormous talent and influence to establish an organization that raises funds and provides resources for indigenous grassroot charities working with orphaned and vulnerable children, disadvantaged youth, and victims of domestic violence.”

Speaking on the establishment of Nigeria’s first thrift-for-charity online store, Prof. Osinbajo said adding social enterprise to philanthropy with a structure that allows for resource mobilization for charity as well as creates the opportunity for people to earn a living in the process, should be the way to go.

His words: “what I think is happening here is that philanthropy is not like it used to be when all you needed was a good and kind heart and you didn’t need to plan or organize as you would a business for-profit.

“What Kemi and her team have done is to bring the new notion of social enterprise to this project. Philanthropy run with the discipline, attention to detail, and financial prudence of a successful business, and she can do all of that, and I am sure her team is imbibing that, given her background in finance in both private and public sector.”

Continuing, he said “the idea of this thrift-for-charity store is brilliant and the first of its kind in Nigeria. It is a unique model which does not just give to the needy in the conventional way of merely handing out donations.

“It is an innovative and structured way of aggregating donations to earn income to transform the lives of the vulnerable and needy while creating jobs in the process.

“I must say that your focus on funding grassroots charities is so crucial and I know that, having campaigned with you on behalf of our party, the APC all around Ogun and in every part of Nigeria, it is clear that you can’t reach Nigeria and Nigerians if you don’t have a plan for the grassroots.”

Earlier in her remarks, Mrs Adesoun said the idea of the store is to aggregate donations of different kinds for charitable causes, noting that Nigerians from different fields of endeavour and from across the country would be enabled via the online store to contribute to supporting the needy in the society.

She said the organization would work closely with charitable organisations in the grassroots to ensure that funds and other materials donated via the Dash Me Store get to actual beneficiaries.