By MILLICENT IFEANYICHUKWU
LAGOS- The Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation (WAPA) has urged beneficiaries of the just concluded empowerment programme to get themselves meaningfully engaged with skills acquired.
WAPA Commissioner, Mrs Cecelia Dada, gave the advice at the closing ceremony of its empowerment programme for indigent women in Maryland community in Lagos.
She said that the empowerment initiative was organised in partnership with the Lagos State Universal Basic Education Board (LASUBEB).
Dada said that the initiative produced 250 persons who would contribute their quotas to the economy of the state.
“The Lagos State Government realised that a lot of children have dropped out of school and so this empowerment programme is organised to help their parents, it’s a socio-economic intervention directed at financial sustainability and progress.
“The programme objective is basically to train parents from LASUBEB in various skills and vocations for the purpose of economic empowerment.
The present administration under the leadership of Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu has taken women empowerment as one of its focal policies in order to mitigate the effects of poverty prevalent amongst women.
“We also realise that when women are economically empowered, there is less tension in the home front and obvious reduction in domestic violence,” Dada said.
She noted that WAPA had trained no fewer than 10,000 women in Lagos State.
“The SUBEB Board members want parents to support their wards and children through schooling; every child deserves basic education across all Lagos metropolis.
“Dear participants, you have a gold mine deposited in you through the just concluded training, dig it out, explore and use it to better your lives and those around you.
“Your passion and enthusiasm in the four weeks training cannot be over-emphasised
“I, therefore, encourage you to make best use of the various skills you have learnt,” she said.
Wada decried the dearth of “white collar” jobs going into extinction in the country.
“It is in realisation of this economic reality that the LASG established 20 functional skills acquisition centres with 20 vocations across the state with additional centres and newer vocations to be launched soon,” she added.
Dada noted that similar trainings had been held in Agege, Orile-Agege, Iba, Oto-Awori, Mushin, Odi-Olowo, Iru, Ajido – Badagry, Ibeju – Lekki, Ikosi – Ejiirin, Epe, Ebute -Metta, Ikeja, Irewe in Ojo Local Government communities, and by extension Topo-Badagry settlements of the state.
While congratulating the 250 graduates of the four weeks programme, Dada encouraged others who were out there waiting for ‘white collar’ jobs to utilise the opportunity and learn a vocation to become self dependent.
Also speaking, Hon. Wahab Alawiye-King, Lagos SUBEB Chairman, said that the motive of the programme was to reduce menace of ‘Out of School Children’ in Lagos due to socio-economic problems.
Alawiye-King said that LASUBEB collaborated with WAPA to give parents the necessary skills to make them to be more productive.
He said the free programme which selection was done in collaboration with the School Base Management Committee where parents in need of skills were identified.
“I visited the training centres and the willingness of the participants were impressive, they were happy doing with the skills.
“My message to them is that they go out there use the skills wisely so that the aim and objective of the programme can be achieved for the good of all,” he added.
Mr Jimoh Wasiu, who spoke on behalf of the participants, expressed gratitude to WAPA and LASUBEB for the opportunity to acquire skills free of charge.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the beneficiaries were trained in catering/confectioneries, gele/make-up application, tie/dye, craft/leather making, decorations, production of soap and healthy insecticide.
The beneficiaries were also given working tools according to the vocation they acquired by WAPA and LASUBEB. (NAN)