The Lagos State Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation (WAPA) has empowered 250 women residents of Ajosepo Oke-Odo LCDA, a suburb of Alimosho Local Government Area, in nine tuition-free vocational training programmes.

Speaking during the closing ceremony of the four-week, short-term programme held at Deh-Best School, Ipaja, the Honourable Commissioner for Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation (WAPA), Mrs. Cecilia Bolaji Dada, stated that the State Government is keen on alleviating poverty amongst all residents, especially vulnerable women as well as idle and unemployed youths. 

The Commissioner, represented by the Deputy Director, Women Affairs Department, Mrs. Bose Omidoyin, said the purpose of the programme was to groom resourceful women and youths for financial growth, irrespective of location, religion, health status or political belief across the Lagos metropolis.

Her words: “This short-term skills acquisition training is targeted at curbing idleness, unemployment and empowering vulnerable citizens towards self-reliance in a bid to make them contributors to the socio-economic development of the State”.

“The programme is part of the State government’s poverty reduction strategy to give vulnerable women viable vocations that would make them financially independent to adequately provide for the needs of their various families. The training ran simultaneously in other centres across Lagos State and is expected to benefit no fewer than 1,500 participants”, she added.

While congratulating the beneficiaries, Mrs. Dada implored them to continuously sharpen their skills, saying “I commend you for taking the bold step towards a brighter future and encourage you to maximise the knowledge acquired from your training so that you become masters of your crafts”. 

She advised prospective students, particularly unemployed persons or those underemployed, to enrol in any of the 19 Skills Acquisition centres across the State offering various tuition-free vocational training for a duration of six to 12 months. 

In his address, the representative of all the CDAs around the Ajosepo axis, Pastor M.O Ogunleye, commended the State Government for the initiative aimed at improving the welfare of the vulnerable residents in the State.

He said: “I am very impressed by what WAPA has done for the people of Ajosepo LCDA. This shows that Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu is a passionate leader who cares about the welfare of his people. Therefore, I urge the beneficiaries to take advantage of the benevolent opportunity, which is intended to make them financially independent, so that they can easily cater to the needs of their families”.

The beneficiaries were given Certificates of Completion as well as starter packs for 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 amongst others.

One of the beneficiaries of the programme, Odunayo Oluwatoyin, who learnt Throw-Pillow Crafts and Events Decoration, expressed her gratitude to the Lagos State Government for the programme, saying “I am very grateful for the opportunity and I encourage everyone who is unemployed or idle to take advantage of this programme and learn a vocational skill.