By Aishat Momoh. O.
Through its four-week short-term Skills Acquisition programme, the Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation (WAPA) has empowered 250 wives of the military personnel and Nigerian Police personnel in the entrepreneurial sector as part of a strategic drive to reduce poverty and raise the living standards among women.
The programme, which was held at the Bonny Camp of the 81 Division of the Nigerian Army, Victoria Island, Lagos; was intended to support the officer’s wives to become financially independent, and self-sustainant, according to the Commissioner of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Mrs. Cecilia Dada during the graduation ceremony for participants.
She said, “The primary responsibility of our ministry is the welfare of women in Lagos State. And when we talk about welfare of women, it goes on to empowerment, protection and this is one of it. The programme also, aims to uplift the lives of indigents, vulnerable and internally displaced persons, as well as people with disabilities, across various communities of Lagos State with ready-to-go skills in meeting their various economic demands and challenges”.
Mrs. Dada explained that this event was the third graduation ceremony that the ministry would be having in this quarter.
While applauding participants for exhibiting good conduct as well as remarkable resilience, determination, and commitment towards achieving self-sufficiency, Commissioner enjoined them not to despise the days of litte begining, while advising them to packages themselves and also build good inter-personal relationships with their would-be customers.
She said, “The State Government is ready to address factors militating against women and youths from attaining their full potentials, like illiteracy, joblessness, teenage pregnancies and cultural issues, among others and give the necessary support to residents irrespective of their positions in the State through various skills, including Events Decoration, Flower Arrangement, Fabric Stoning, Tie and Dye, Catering, Soap, Pomade and Insecticide Production, Hair Braiding and Wig Making, Throw Pillows and Duvet Making, among others”.
In her goodwill speech, wife of the Governor of Lagos State, Mrs. Claudiana Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu, who was represented by Mrs. Funmi Omotosho, wife of the Commissioner for Information, expressed her excitement about Tuesday’s event.
“This training organised through MWAPA, is a testament to the present administration’s commitment to the human capital development. Through this targeted trainig to the wives of esteemed military officers comprising, the wives of the Nigerian Army Officers’ Association NAOWA, Naval Officers’ wives Association NOWA, Nigerian Airfirce Officers’ wives Association NAPOWA, and Police Officers’ Wives Association POWA.”
She hoped that this initiative will serve as a cornerstone for future endeavours in human capital development, while commending MWAPA, the trainers, and the participants for their duration of the empowerment.
Mrs. Sanwo-Olu, reminded all beneficiaries that the journey does not end here, as the skills acquired are a stepping stone to a brighter future.
She however, thanked the resilient women who stood alongside the gallant defenders. She noted that by investing in the skills and providing opportunities fir economic independence,”We contribute not only to the wellbeing of these families but also the other goal of reducing crime and poverty in the society.”
“In line with the promises of this present administration of Lagos State, the various training and empowerment by MWAPA, are not only meant to equip individuals with practical skills but also, to address the pivotal role of women in driving the society’s progress.”
Permanent Secretaty of the Lagos State MWAPA, Mrs. Oluyemi Kalesanwo, thanked the wives of the officers present for releasing their women and giving them the encouragement to participate in the programme, while urging the graduands to make good use of the trainig receive and also try to contribute their own quota by being financially independent.
Pharm. Mrs. Rekiyah M.T Usman, te current the Chair person, 81 Division Nigerian Army Officers’ Wives Association (NAOWA), expressed joy that are women were a part of the programme. She commended the Lagos State Government and Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation for enhancing the development of human capacities for self -sustainability
One of the beneficiaries, Mrs. Abdullahi Balikis, who is the General Secretary of NASWA, appreciated the Lagos Government, for the opportunity to be among the participants of this programme.
She mentioned that with Make-up and Gele tying skills learnt, she has started making mone. This according to her will help her support her family and also teach others.
The highlight of the occasion was the demonstration of skills learnt, presentation of Certificates of Competency and Start-Up kits to all the participants to enhance their trade proficiencies.