Lagos State Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation (WAPA) has organised a four-week short-term vocational skills acquisition training and empowerment programme for women in Omajuwa and Kosofe communities in Ikosi-Isheri LCDA.

Speaking at the programme held at the Catholic Church of the Resurrection, Magodo, Mrs. Cecilia Bolaji Dada, Commissioner for WAPA said the objective of the programme is to serve as part of the state government’s poverty reduction strategy in line with its renewed effort to give vulnerable women in the state vocations that would make them economically independent.

She explained that Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s administration has zero tolerance for idleness amongst women and youth, saying “The objective is to train women, youths and men also in various skills and vocations for the purpose of economic empowerment and lift their status from the state of dependency to self-reliance”.

“I am happy to say those past beneficiaries of our short-term vocational training are majorly vulnerable women who are now contributing to their family and societal development”, she added

Dada, therefore, urged the beneficiaries to properly package and advertise their products and services to be a marketable brand and create a niche for themselves, so that they can stand out amongst other competitors.

She called on prospective students, particularly unemployed persons or the underemployed, to enrol at any of the Government’s  19 Skills Acquisition Centres across the State, offering various vocational training programmes for the duration of six to 12 months.

Also speaking at the event, Reverend Father Paul Bastos, the Parish Administrator for the Catholic Church of the Resurrection, lauded the State Government for its unwavering commitment to easing the plights of women in Lagos State.

He said: “This initiative by WAPA is very commendable and today marks the beginning of greater things to come, so be the best you can be and believe that God Almighty will lead your steps aright”.

The president of the Catholic Women Organisation, Mrs. Tonia Ozoede expressed appreciation to WAPA and charged the beneficiaries to properly utilize the skills and tools they have been equipped with.

The beneficiaries were given Certificates of Completion and Starter Packs for various skills including Wig Making and Hair Braiding, Make-Up and Gele Tying, Tie and Dye, Catering and Confectionaries, Garments Stoning, Pomade-Making Insecticide and Stove Wick, Ankara Craft and Interior Decoration, among others.

One of the beneficiaries of the programme, Ugochukwu Christiana expressed her gratitude to the Lagos State Government for the opportunity, saying “I have started baking and selling snacks and that has helped me to be more financially independent”.