(L-R) Wife of Chief of Defence Staff/Defence and Police Officers Wives Association (DEPOWA) Chairperson, Barrister Vicky Irabor; The First Lady of Lagos State, Dr. Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu; Commissioner for Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Mrs. Cecilia Bolaji Dada at the closing ceremony of the Military Officers’ wives training in nine skills acquisition programmes.

The Lagos State Government, through the Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation (WAPA), has empowered 225 military officers’ wives in a short-term skills acquisition programme as part of a women emancipation process geared towards economic growth.

Speaking at the closing ceremony of the four-week training at Sam Ethnan Air-Force Base, PWD, on Wednesday, the First Lady of Lagos State, Dr. Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu, applauded WAPA’s effort in bringing succour to women, through poverty alleviation initiative, thus showcasing the magnanimity of the current administration to better the lives of women and their families.

While delivering her keynote address, Mrs. Sanwo-Olu stated that “Worldwide, women are impressively demonstrating that they are willing and able to use their qualifications and self-determination to directly increase social prosperity in male-driven businesses. We have women as large scale business owners, we also have them in all forms of skilled labour as well as manufacturing sphere, targeting unwavering contributions to economic advancement”.

“Apart from playing the regular domestic roles, women should begin to show interest in politics and other positions of leadership in order to contribute their quota to the development of the State”, the First Lady added.

On her part, the State Commissioner for Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation (WAPA), Mrs. Cecilia Bolaji Dada, said the short-term programme is one in a series of four, being organised by the Ministry, for the Nigerian Army Officers Wives (NAOWA), Navy Officers Wives (NOWA) and Nigerian Air Force Officers Wives Association (NAFOWA), as well as for People Living with Disabilities and the Vulnerable.

Dada said: “The Lagos State Government knows that the prevailing economic situation poses serious challenges for everyone, especially women. This informed the creation of 19 Functional Skills Acquisition Centres across the five divisions of the State, where 20 various skills are offered on a tuition-free basis for the benefits of all residents”.

She added that the Lagos State Government, under the leadership of Mr. Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu, has embarked on different initiatives to ensure financial independence for women as a critical step to taking charge of their lives and mainstreaming the female gender into governance, especially with respect to politics and public life.

The Defence and Police Officers Wives Association (DEPOWA) President, Barr. (Mrs.) Vickie Anwuli Irabor, urged the beneficiaries of the training to take full advantage of the skills they have acquired to better their families and the military community in general.

Barr. Irabor said, “The military lifestyle imposes unique challenges for military families, ranging from long separations, frequent moves, late nights, physical and mental trauma and in extreme cases death. These routinely faced challenges linked to the military lifestyle are often not experienced by the civilian counterpart. However, this programme today suggests that our struggles are no longer ours alone. We are glad that the Lagos State government shares in our unique challenges and has taken a bold step to be part of the solution for the military wives”.

The event also witnessed the distribution of start-up packs to participants as enhancement tools for them to commence their businesses immediately.