The Lagos State Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation (WAPA) has reiterated the commitment of the present administration to empower women residents, including members of the Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS in Nigeria (NEPWAN) and those living with Sickle Cell Anemia, through a four-week, short term vocational skills acquisition programme.
The training, which ran simultaneously in five selected centres across the State, is expected to benefit no fewer than 1,500 participants in the first quarter of the year 2022 and serve as part of the government’s poverty reduction strategy in its renewed effort to give vulnerable women vocations that would make them economically independent.
Speaking at the completion of the training programmes at the Calabar Community Centre, Surulere and the Skills Acquisition Centre, Mushin, the Honourable Commissioner for Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Mrs. Cecilia Bolaji Dada, stated that women empowerment remains the focal point of the Ministry in order to ensure that no woman, regardless of disability, health or social status is left behind.
In her words: “The Lagos State Government is well aware of the prevailing economic circumstance in our nation and the dearth of white-collar jobs. It is this economic reality that birthed the four weeks, short-term term Skills Acquisition Programme to train women on various skills and empowerment strategies towards financial sustainability”.
Mrs. Dada urged women of all categories, including those living with disabilities, those living with HIV, widows and retirees, to take advantage of the numerous programmes initiated by the Lagos State Government to empower themselves.
She also called on prospective students, particularly unemployed persons, the underemployed and those who are still patiently waiting for white-collar jobs, to utilise the opportunities created by the present administration to learn at least a skill in order to become self-dependent.
Also speaking at the event, Mr. Ladi Lawanson, a former Lagos State Commissioner for Transportation, applauded the State Government for its continuous contributions towards empowering women, urging beneficiaries to make proper use of the skills learnt in order to achieve financial independence.
He said: “I applaud WAPA for its continuous strides in the fight against poverty and I implore the graduands to make good use of the skills learnt in order to go from a state of dependence to self-reliance”.
In his contribution, Dr. Olumide Sojinrin, Medical Director, General Hospital, Mushin, and a representative of the Lagos State AIDS Control Agency, Mrs. Adebambo Olusola, commended the initiative and urged the beneficiaries to maximise the opportunity despite their health status.
The beneficiaries were empowered with certificates and starter packs for various skills ranging from wig making and hair braiding, make-up and gele tying, tie and dye, catering and confectionaries, garments stoning, pomade-making, insecticide and stove wick, Ankara craft and interior decoration, among others.
One of the beneficiaries of the programme, Titilope Adejumo, expressed her gratitude to the Lagos State Government for organising the event and vowed to become an employer of labour in order to give back to society.