The Lagos State Government, through the Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation (WAPA), has empowered 250 Christian women with a tuition-free skill acquisition programme in Oke-Popo Community on Lagos Island.
Speaking at the closing ceremony of the empowerment programme held at the St. Andrews Church, Oke-Popo, Lagos Island, Mrs. Cecilia Bolaji Dada, Commissioner for Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation (WAPA) stated that empowerment of the female gender is essential to eradicate poverty and curb all forms of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence across the metropolis.
She said: “The present administration has taken women empowerment as one of its focal policies to mitigate the effects of poverty prevalent amongst women. We have also realised that when women are economically empowered, there is less tension in the home front and obvious reduction in domestic violence”.
While encouraging self-improvement among participants of the training programme, Dada implored them to properly brand their crafts and embrace social media marketing to create adequate awareness and exposure for their products.
The Commissioner also called on prospective students, particularly unemployed persons or the underemployed, to enroll in any of the 19 Skills Acquisition Centres across the five divisions of Lagos State.
Also speaking. the Permanent Secretary, Mrs. Oluyemi Kalesanwo, who was represented by the Director, Women Affairs Department of the Ministry, Mrs. Olufunke Shyllon, advised the beneficiaries to adopt proper entrepreneurship skills and embrace the family planning methods to gain financial independence.
Kalesanwo further harped on the need to practice proper book-keeping in order to manage the loans that could be accessed through the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF) for business support.
In his remarks, the Archdeacon of Cathedral Church of Christ, Lagos, Venerable Tayo Aduloju, expressed gratitude to the State Government for the programme and applauded WAPA for its commitment to the improvement of women in the State.
He encouraged participants to adopt the mindset of learning a vocational skill, especially those unemployed or idle, in order to get multiple sources of income necessary for financial sustenance.
The Coordinator of the Eti-Osa group, Mrs. Seyi Fatiregun, applauded the initiative and expressed profound gratitude to WAPA for its unrelenting commitment to the empowerment of women.
“I implore you all to apply wisdom with hard work, create a niche for yourself with your crafts and continue to learn ways you can be better so that you become masters of your vocation”, she said.
The 250 participants of the training programme were drawn from St. Andrews Church; St. Phillips Church; Kings Church; St. John Church; and Holy Trinity Church all in the Lagos Island Community, bringing the total number of women empowered at the various skills acquisition centres since 2019 to 11,250.
Recall that women faithful of various Islamic faith-based organisations were recently empowered at a similar skills acquisition training programme.