LAGOS REITERATES COMMITMENT TO EMPOWERING VULNERABLE WOMEN
The Honourable Commissioner for Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation (WAPA), Mrs. Cecilia Bolaji Dada, has reiterated the commitment of Lagos State Government to empowering residents, especially the indigent and vulnerable women. Mrs. Dada spoke, on Wednesday, at the closing ceremony of free skills training programme organised by the State Government for 300 indigents and vulnerable residents of Mushin and Odi-Olowo communities, amongst whom were two visually-impaired women, at the Odi-Olowo Local Council Development Area of Lagos State. While charging the beneficiaries to embrace economic independence, the Commissioner 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 said, "As part of activities marking the closing of a four-week, short-term skills acquisition programme, we rejoice with you on being part of the Lagos State vision. Women empowerment remains one of the focal points of the Babajide Sanwo-Olu-led administration and our mandate at the Ministry is to ensure that no woman, regardless of disability, health or social status is left behind in the tuition-free training programmes”. The Commissioner said in order to encourage beneficiaries of the free training to kick-start their businesses, 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, would be distributed. Speaking in the same vein, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Mrs. Oluyemi Kalesanwo, implored the graduands to make good use of the skills learnt with a view to becoming employers of labour and contributors to the economy. One of the beneficiaries of the programme, Grace Egbobi, who is visually impaired, expressed her gratitude to the Lagos State Government for putting such an initiative in place and also carrying her and other people living with disabilities along. Her words: "I am elated to be part of this initiative which I never knew I could achieve until I partook in the four-week programme. I learnt the tie and dye aspect of the programme and I can attest to it that this has become a source of income-generating venture for me with the various designs I have learnt". Also present at the event was an an official of the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund, Mr. Taiwo Ogunleye, who took the participants through the various requirements for funds to boost their businesses. The highlight of the occasion was the presentation of certificates and starter packs to all participants of the training.