By Maryam Usman Nagado
No fewer than 890 women on Wednesday benefitted from the Lagos State Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation mega empowerment quarterly programme.
Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu while speaking during the programme held at the Skills Acquisition Centre at Berger, Lagos, said that the initiative was in line with its administration’s objective to alleviate poverty through various empowerment programmes.
“ Two years ago when our administration was inaugurated, poverty alleviation through the implementation of empowerment programmes targeted at women and other vulnerable groups in the society was part of our main objective.
“As a demonstration of our commitment to these objectives, this programme which hitherto was being organised once a year was increased to four times in a year.
“This decision was taken to deepen the impact of the programme so that more women will benefit from it,” he said.
Sanwo-Olu, who was represented by Mrs Folashade Jaji, the Secretary to the State Government, reiterated government’s commitment to the development of human capacity, innovation and entrepreneurial skills.
“We will continue to give our support to initiatives aimed at developing capacity.
“And also improve the capacity of our vocational skill acquisition centres to impact the necessary skills relevant to current and emerging economic environment,” he said.
The governor commended the ministry for putting the programme together while urging beneficiaries to use the equipment judiciously for their businesses.
Mrs Bolaji Dada, the Commissioner for Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, said that empowerment remained the focal tool used to mitigate the effects of poverty which is prevalent across all strata.
Dada said the mega empowerment programme initiated by the ministry was essential in achieving a sustainable development order within the state.
“In the past two years of this present administration, the Lagos State Government has embarked on different initiatives to ensure financial independence.
“Beneficiaries of today’s programme are indigents, vulnerable residents, graduates and widows whom fate had rendered financially incapacitated.
“A good number of people are facing threats to their lives, health and well-being, as a result of being overburdened due to circumstances beyond their power.
“Evidently, our indigent residents especially women need so much support to carry out a multidimensional role often requiring empowerment for effective execution.
`The intervention of the Lagos State Government at this period is crucial and timely, considering the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on businesses,” she said.
The commissioner said that the ministry, in line with the vision of the Sanwo-Olu led administration, would continue to initiate programmes to raise the standard of living of indigents and vulnerable women.
She advised the beneficiaries to used the various equipment to enhance their skills.
“As you are being given the keys to open doors of entrepreneurship today, I implore you all not to sell these equipment.
“Use these equipment to create wealth for yourselves and families, as channels of positive change, towards economic advancement,’ ‘she said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that some of the equipment given to the beneficiaries included sewing machines, weaving machines and pop-corn making machines.
Others include hair dryers, grinding machines, iPads, clippers, sterilisers, generators and more. (NAN)