The Lagos State Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation (WAPA) has organised a four-week, short-term, skills acquisition training and empowerment programme for retiring civil servants in a bid to curb idleness as well as ensure their financial independence in retirement.

Speaking at the training programme held recently at the Women Development Centre (WDC), Agege, Mrs. Cecilia Bolaji Dada, Commissioner for Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation (WAPA), stated that the programme was organised with a view to ensuring that retirees are properly equipped for life after retirement as well as to ease their fears of an alternative regular source of income during the period.

The Commissioner, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Mrs. Oluyemi Kalesanwo, said: “Many prospective retirees are unprepared, unsure and afraid of what life in retirement entails. However, the opportunity to set their own pace in a highly-competitive, established market space is the reason why this initiative is important”.

“The objective is to train them on various skills and vocations for the purpose of economic empowerment and self-dependency so that they can continue to maintain the status quo. The previous beneficiaries of this initiative have become financially independent and employers of labour. So, I urge you all to think along this line and make the best use of this opportunity you have been given”, she added.

While urging the participants to use unique selling points which will attract intending customers for the various products and services, Dada implored them to take advantage of the social media platforms to enhance their potential and expand their market base.

The Commissioner also called on other Lagos residents, particularly unemployed persons or the underemployed, to enrol in any of the 19 Skills Acquisition centres for different vocational training programmes available in order to contribute to the economic growth of Lagos State.

In her address, the Permanent Secretary, Teaching Service Commission (TESCOM), Mrs. Toyin Machado-Onanuga, who was equally a graduand of the empowerment programme, applauded the State Government for the laudable initiative geared towards ensuring financial prosperity of beneficiaries.

She explained that the initiative by WAPA is very commendable and urged all participants to build enduring product brands with their acquired skills so that they can make an impact in the market space while also keeping themselves busy and eliminating any form of idleness during the retirement period.

A beneficiary of the programme, Mrs. Adenike Osu, expressed her gratitude to the Lagos State Government for the initiative, saying “I urge all beneficiaries to adopt the mindset of collaboration in their businesses so that we can make the best use of the opportunity we have been given”.