The Lagos State Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation (WAPA) has reaffirmed empowerment as a focal tool for alleviating poverty amongst the citizenry of the State, through the training of 200 people Living With Disabilities.

Speaking during the event to mark the closing ceremony of a four-week short-term training in 10 vocations, held at the Women Development Centre, Agege, the State Commissioner for Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Mrs. Cecilia Bolaji Dada, disclosed that for absolute eradication of poverty, every resident of Lagos State must have a formidable source of livelihood.

She said, “Lagos State Government under the leadership of the Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu, has embarked on different initiatives to ensure financial independence for women, which is a critical step to taking charge of their lives and for mainstreaming the female gender into governance, especially in politics and public life”.

“This underscores the reason why the present administration has taken women empowerment as one of its focal policies to mitigate the effects of poverty prevalence amongst women, especially in this period when the Delta variant of the COVID-19 pandemic is ravaging some parts of the world and economies”, she added.

Dada explained further that studies have identified empowerment as a front-burner issue in past and present leaderships of Lagos State, noting that the challenges posed by poverty amongst women can only be surmounted through intervention projects and programmes as the initiative.

While urging the participants to improve on their commitment and productivity, the Commissioner charged them to explore innovative measures of development by making use of the start-up kits, considering them as keys towards financial independence in contributing to the advancement of the economy.

She maintained that the event was one in a series of four planned programmes by the Ministry for the Nigerian Army Officers Wives (NAOWA); Navy Officers Wives (NOWA); Nigerian Air Force Officers Wives Association (NAFOWA), and People Living with Disability as well as for vulnerable women in Alausa Community.

The Permanent Secretary, WAPA, Mrs. Oluyemi Kalesanwo, remarked that the participants should embrace the opportunity of the tuition-free tutelage, even as they aspire to effectively utilise such provisions to contribute their quota to the economic growth of the State.

She said, “Take this opportunity given you quite seriously, grow using these items; expand on advanced techniques of your trade and do not despise the days of little beginnings”. 

In his contribution, the General Manager of Lagos State Office for Disability Affairs (LASODA); Mr. Jamiu Oluwadamilare Ogundairo, implored participants to be self-dependent, specifically with a target to become contributors to the economic growth of the State.

The recipients were empowered with various skills in the art of Ankara craft, leather works, tye and dye, adire, hairdressing and wig making, confectionery and catering, pomade, insecticide and cosmetics making, stoning and embellishments, make-up and gele tying, event decorations and throw-pillows making.

The participants, upon graduation, were given start-up packs and certificates of completion to aid their upgrade as contributors to the economy.

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