TEXT OF AN ADDRESS DELIVERED BY HONOURABLE COMMISSIONER FOR WOMEN AFFAIRS & POVERTY ALLEVIATION, HON.(MRS) LOLA AKANDE AT THE MINISTERIAL PRESS BRIEFING TO MARK THE SECOND YEAR IN OFFICE OF HIS EXCELLENCY,MR. AKINWUNMI AMBODE GOVERNOR OF LAGOS STATE ON THURSDAY, 20TH APRIL, 2017 AT THE BAGAUDA KALTHO PRESS CENTRE , ALAUSA, IKEJA.
VISION & MISSION OF THE MINISTRY
To Sustainably Reduce Poverty in Lagos State
Women Development and Poverty Reduction as a Means to attaining Sustainable Growth through Efficient and Prompt Service Delivery.
It is my pleasure to welcome you to this Ministerial Press Briefing commemorating the second year in office of His Excellency Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, the Governor of Lagos, the State of Excellence.
It will be recalled that Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode assumed office on the 29th of May 2015 and immediately swung into action with a genuine desire to fulfill its electoral promises and offer dividend of democracy to the people.
As we are all aware, this Administration renders account of its stewardship in all sectors of the society through the Quarterly Town Hall Meeting.
Also, today’s Annual Press Briefing is in line with this tradition, which avails the Ministry the opportunity of rendering a comprehensive account of its activities in the last two years.
In addition, rendition of the Ministry’s account is not only to show the citizens of Lagos State how the government is faring in terms of prompt and efficient Service Delivery, but to give room for constructive criticism by the Public, as well as evaluate the progress made so far by the Administration. This will certainly assist the government in achieving a resounding success throughout its tenure.
The Ministry’s Statutory Mandate is to discharge the following responsibilities;
- Initiate Formulate, Execute, Monitor and Evaluate Policies relating to Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation.
- Liaise with women Voluntary Organizations.
- Co-ordinate the activities of Women Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO).
- Liaise with International Bodies on Women programmes.
- Promote Women Co-operative Societies.
- Organize Women Education – Vocational and Functional Training.
- Mobilise Women through public enlightenment programmes.
- Promote Small-Scale Industries/Commercial activities amongst women groups.
- Co-ordinate Ministerial programmes for Women.
- Serve as Data Bank/Information centres on Women programmes.
- Give Technical assistance to Women groups.
- Identify needs and promote economic activities of Women in Rural Areas.
- Identify /Organise Income generating programmes for Women.
- Promote Arts and Crafts produced by Women entrepreneur for exports.
- Coordinate/Collate Poverty Alleviation programmes – State & Federal.
- Supervise Women Development Centres in Lagos State.
- Manage Women development and encourage solidarity amongst Women groups.
- As a Member of the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), the Ministry stands against all forms of Gender Based Violence.
ACHIEVEMENTS IN THE LAST ONE YEAR
In a bid to improve the living standard of Women in Lagos State, the Ministry through the Department over the last one year carried out various short term empowerment programmes in order for Women in the State to be economically independent.
- Organized a 3-week Skill Acquisition Training Programme for 150 People Living With HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) from Friday, 22nd April – Thursday, 12th May 2016 at Faith Hall, End of Brown Street, Aguda Surulere, Lagos.
- The Ministry in Collaboration with Dangote Foundation Launched the Dangote Micro Grants scheme for Women in the State on Thursday, 26th May, 2016 to enhance their A total of 40,000 (2,000 per Local Government) Vulnerable Women were given cash and phones across the State.
- The Ministry Organised a 4-week Skill Acquisition Training Programme for 300 widows in the State from Friday, 22ndApril – Thursday, 12th May 2016 at Women Development Centre, Agege, Lagos and were given Starter packs.
- Held a 3-week Training for 250 Retiring Public Servants in Lagos State at the Women Development Centre in different skills. Starter packs were distributed to participants at the end of the training.
- The Ministry in collaboration with Sebeccly Cancer Care organized Cervical Cancer Screening for 300 female Public Servants at the Adeyemi Bero Auditorium on Friday, 5th of August, 2016.
- The Ministry in collaboration with Action Health Incorporated organised a 2-Week Skill Acquisition Programme for 281 Out of School Girls at Sari Iganmu and Otto between 15th – 26th August, 2016.
- Also, in collaboration with Access Bank Plc, we organized a Day Training programme for Heads of Departments (HODs) WAPA of all LGAs and LCDAs in the State on 28th of November, 2016 at Folarin Coker Staff Clinic Hall, Secretariat, Alausa.
- The Ministry also in conjunction with United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) organized a symposium for HODs WAPA and Community Leaders across the State on the need to end Gender Based Violence in the Society.
- A 3 week Skill Acquisition Training was held at Chapel of Christ the Light, Alausa for 131 Teenagers and women from 2nd to 23rd September ,2016. Starter packs were distributed to participants.
- In collaboration with the Majority Leader, Hon. S.O.B Agunbiade, a 3 week short term skill acquisition Programme was held for 300 women at Ikorodu and they were empowered with starter packs.
- Between 4th to 21st October, 2016 , a 3 week Skill Acquisition Training Programme was held at Ikoyi/Eti-Osa LCDA for 100 women and they were empowered with starter packs at the end of the programme Based Violence in the Society.
- Organized a 3-week Skill Acquisition Training Programme for 129 People Living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) in the State from 4th to 21st October, 2016 at Women Development Centre, Agege, Lagos.
- Sponsored 66 Women to a 3 Day National Conference organized by Committee of Wives of Lagos State Officials (COWLSO) with the theme: “Strong Family, Strong Nation”. (How a strong family can invariably bring about strong Nation) from 24th – 26th October 2016 at Eko Hotels and Suites
- Coordinated the Training Workshop for the Facilitators of N – Power (a Federal Government initiative under the National Social Investments Programme) Verification Exercise for the Beneficiaries in the State. The program is on-going. (SIP – Social Intervention Programme)
For sensitization and dissemination of the Ministry’s activities and programmes, the following were carried out:
- Maiden Edition of WAPA Alert (an online interactive Social Media) where issues concerning Women are discussed. It was held at the Prestige Hotel Alausa, Ikeja on Tuesday, 10th May, 2016.
- Held a Day Sensitization Programme for Lagos State Women on Gender Based Violence at Ikeja Local Government Secretariat, Ikeja on Friday, May 20, 2016.
- The Ministry Collaborated with United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in organising Year 2016, 16 Days Activism Against Gender – Based Violence Campaign. This is an annual event that holds globally from 25th November, (the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women) to 10th December, (Human Rights Day) to put an end to violence against women and girls around the world.
- The Ministry between 2nd – 23rd November, 2016 in collaboration with UNFPA monitored 97 Public Secondary School Councilors who were trained on Management of Gender Based Violence (GBV) to evaluate the progress made.
- In recognition of the contribution of the Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation to the plight of Women in Nigeria, WAPA emerged Voice of Women (VOW) 2016 Best Government Organization /Agency Supporting Women and their Families at the 2016 VOW Awards organized by WFM 91.6 held at Eko Hotels and Suites on Friday, December 9, 2016.
- Partnered with EWURO PROJECT for Command Performance to further sensitize the public on the issue of Violence Against Women and plight of widows through the use of irresistible hybrid of drama, poetry, music and dance at the National Theartre , Iganmu from 16th – 18th December, 2016.
- Collaborated with United Capital PLC in organising a Free Financial Literacy Seminar for women in the State tagged ‘’Why Financial Literacy Is Critical For Women Empowerment’’ on Tuesday, 28th February, 2017 at Adeyemi Bero Auditorium, Alausa.
- Held an interactive session for Women from Epe Division at St. Michael Anglican Church, Popo-Oba, Epe on Thursday, March 2, 2017, to discuss issues that concern Women in Epe area of the State. This program will go round all the 5 Divisions of the state in due course.
In discharging its duty of celebrating the women folk in the State, the Ministry was involved in the following activities;
- Collaborated with Consulate General of South Africa to mark the 60th Anniversary of the South Africa Women‘s Day on Friday, 12th August, 2016.
- Attended Genotype Foundation International Women’s Day Celebration held on Saturday, March 2, 2017.
- Celebrated Lagos Women with a 3- Day Programme of Activities to mark 2017 International Women’s Day, with the theme: BE BOLD FOR CHANGE, starting from Monday, 6th March, 2017 with a Symposium at Adeyemi Bero State Auditorium, Alausa; followed by visits to indigents women in Ikorodu and Yaba while ending with a Parade by different Women Groups at Police College Ground, GRA, Ikeja on Wednesday, 8th March, 2017 and a Dinner at the De- Renaissance Hotel, Ikeja.
In pursuant of the Poverty Alleviation Programmes of the present Administration, the Department alleviate the suffering of Lagosians through various empowerment initiatives.
In order to free Women and young people in the State from the shackles of poverty, the Ministry trains Women in Agricultural Production, Agro processing, Snail and Grass Cutter Rearing.
The Department promotes the formation of Cooperative Societies among Female Farmers in the State in order to benefit from Federal and State Government Agricultural interventions. Other activities are:
- Cultivation of arable crops i.e. Cassava, maize, leafy and fruit vegetables that serves as demonstration plots for Agricultural trainees.
- Collaboration with individuals and Corporate Bodies on Poverty Alleviation related programmes.
- The Ministry’s Farm at Avia in Badagry is a training centre for Women who have passion for Agriculture. The farm also serves as a training centre for students from both Primary and Secondary Schools who usually paid excursion visits to acquaint themselves with Agricultural production and processing.
- Empowered 150 indigent Citizens in the State during Year 2016 International Day for the Eradication of Poverty.
- On Monday, February 27, 2017 3200 women and men were materially and financially empowered.
i.e 2,630 were given Pepper grinders, sewing machines, Hair Dryers , Vulcanising Machines, Generators, Freezers, Baking machines, Shoe making machines etc.
570 Senior Citizens were given Financial assistance of N50,000 each.
- Monitoring of State owned public toilets and car wash centres.
SKILL ACQUISITION DEVELOPMENT
- This Unit is responsible for effective supervision and management of the Ministry’s Skill Acquisition Centres (SAC’s) spread across the 3 Senatorial Districts of Lagos State. Presently, there are 17 functional SAC’s in the State and the various vocations being offered are coordinated and regulated by Lagos State Technical and Vocational Education Board.
- We Commissioned on 23rd August 2016 a 600 capacity Skill Acquisition Centre at Ilashe , a Riverine Community in the Oriade Local Council Development Area
- Also, on the same day, 23rd August 2016, Fish Smoking Centre, Garri Processing Centre, Cold Room, Market Stalls and Viewing Centre (A town Hall) were also commissioned at Ilashe to increase food production and preservation as well as provide recreation for the indigenes.
- The Graduation Ceremony of 6,105 Y2015 Graduates of the Skill Acquisition Centres was held at Blueroof LTV on the 1st of September 2016.
- In year 2016, the Ministry participated in various Exhibitions to display the Products of the Students of the Skill Acquisition Centres.
- The Ministry is also constructing the Ibeshe Skill Acquisition Centre, which, when completed, will have the capacity to train 600 students yearly.
- Construction of Ibeshe Garri Processing Centre, Cold Room, Market Stalls and Viewing Centre are ongoing.
- In order to expose the students to practical knowledge in relevant industries, students in Welding Fabrication, Refrigerator/Air conditioner Maintenance and Repair, Vulcanizing/ Wheel Balancing and Alignment, Catering and Hotel Management were placed on 3 months compulsory Industrial Training programme with Julius Berger, Eko Hotel & Suites, Kots Catering, Lagos Airport Hotel among others.
- The total number of students that graduated from the Ministry’s SACs in the Year 2016 was 6,105.
To curb the abusive behavior of partners in relationship that endangers the lives of persons concerned either physically, psychologically, emotionally, and economically through intervention as follows:
- Psychosocial Assessment- Assessing the type of social challenges and proffering solution that is applicable e.g referral, Counseling , settling in or out of court or referring to a psychologist.
- Follow up review matters
- Referral to other Agencies for appropriate action where requested services are not within the purview of the Unit.
- Rescue Services for Domestic Violence (DV) survivors- DSRTV
- Rehabilitation Services for Survivors of Domestic Violence (Ayobo)
- Short term Skill Acquisition Programmes
- Medical Rehabilitation for survivors of DV
- Facilitating Prosecution of Offenders-
A total number of 700 Domestic Violence matters were handled in Year 2016.
- 455 matters had been amicably resolved and follow up reviews conducted as well.
- 200 matters were counseled and referred to other Agencies because their request were not within the purview of the Ministry.
- 55 Client’s matters were disengaged due to family intervention.
CHILD DEVELOPMENT DEPARTMENT
The Child Development Department was formerly in the Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation before it was moved to the Ministry of Youth and Social Development in compliance with provision of paragraph 1(ii) & (iv) of the letter from the Office of Transformation, Creativity and Innovation (Office of the Head of Service) Ref. No. OTCI/414/Vol. II/296 dated 2nd December, 2016 on ‘Realignment of Ministerial Mandates of the Ministries of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation and Youth and Social Development’’
Activities carried out by the Department before the movement to Ministry of Youth and Social Development are as follows:
- Celebration of Year 2016 Day of the African Child with the theme: “Conflict and Crisis in Africa: Protecting all Children’s Rights” at the Combo Hall of LTV on Thursday, 16th June, 2016. The Day of the African Child was a day set aside to commemorate the massacre of the South African Children for fighting for their Rights to Education. Children from all social economic background were in attendance. The Programme was competitive and its worth mentioning that the Orphans and Vulnerable Children won the first position in cultural display and another in drama presentation on the theme of the Day.
- The Ministry in collaboration with Action Health Incorporated Launched the Strategic Action Plan and graduated 300 adolescent girls from three slum communities in Lagos State – Otto, Ijora- Badia and Makoko-Iwaya. They acquired vocational skills such as Bead Stringing, Hair Dressing and Cosmetology, Soap & Pomade Making, Cake /Snacks Making, Make Up & Gele Tying etc at the Federal Palace Hotel, Ikoyi. The beneficiaries were given Starter Packs such as Sewing Machine, Hair Dressing Machines and Gas Cooker amongst other empowerment equipment.
- Marked the Year 2016 Children’s day on Friday, 27th May, 2016 with the Theme: “Protect the Rights of the child in the face of Violence and insecurity’’: End Child Marriage” at the Police College Ground, Ikeja Lagos.
- Organized one day Workshop and Training Programme on the 22nd of November, 2016 for Parents of Children Living with Disability in Lagos State. at NERDC Guest House, CBD, Ikeja. Training Programme where experts on disabilities were invited to give professional training and advise to parents of these children with special needs on how to handle and provide proper care for them.
- A One Day Workshop and Training was organised for Care Givers of crèches and Day Care Centres. This is to ensure safety and wellbeing of the Children while in their care.
- The Children Parliament was specifically created by the Federal Government following the adoption of the Child Rights Convention in Nigeria .As a core mandate of the Child Rights is the Right to participation. It is in consonance with this that the Children Parliament was inaugurated so that Children can lend their voices on issues that affect them. The Parliament presently has tenure of two years. Lagos State has had 4 successful Parliamentarian regime that has been very active both at the State and National level.
A Special Valedictory Session was held for the 4th Legislative Assembly of the Children’s Parliament at the Chambers of the Lagos State House of Assembly on Friday 19th August 2016 and Laptops were presented to each the out-going members to appreciate their meritorious Service to the State (comprises 40 members drawn from 40 constituencies of Lagos State) and to represent Lagos State at the national level.
The Parliament and members were elected through essay/ oral competition organised in collaboration with Ministry of Education and UNICEF.
- Celebrated Year 2016 International Day Of The Girl Child, With The Theme “The Girl Child And Sustainable Development Goals”. On October 11, 2016. The Day is an annual event dedicated to the plight of the girl child globally, to recognize their rights and the unique challenges they face around the world.
- Organized and Celebrated the 2016 World Orphans Day with the theme: THE PROMISE OF PARTNERSHIP on 14th November, 2016. To mark the Day, Orphans and Vulnerable children were drawn from Schools, orphanages and Children based NGOs in Local Government Areas and Local Council Development Areas across the State for the Programme.
The day is celebrated to bring to the fore the plight of these Vulnerable so that they could be assisted by various groups and Organisations. It also promotes their social skills as they are able to interact with their peers.
WOMEN DEVELOPMENT CENTRE, AGEGE.
- To promote full utilization of Women in the Development of Human Resources for effectiveness as nation builders and for more active participation in governance.
- To provide training in Skill Development, income-generating activities, and serve as training ground for Managers and Leaders.
- To provide a forum for Guidance, Counseling and Mobilization of Women both in Rural and Urban areas.
- To develop programmes and activities that would enhance higher productivity amongst Women.
- To serve as a Data Bank on Women and Development in Lagos State and Nigeria as a whole.
- To generate Revenue for the State Government through the facilities provided in the Complex (Auditorium, Conference Room, Open space, Guest House and Shopping Mall.
The Women Development Centre trained 708 (Seven Hundred and Eight) men and women in year 2016.
TOTAL ACHIEVEMENTS IN THE LAST 2 YEARS
- A total of 2023 (Two Thousand and twenty – three) women were trained on Short Term Skill Acquisition.
- Organized two “16 Days Activism against Gender Based Violence (GBV)” in conjunction with UNFPA for 2015 and 2016.
- Celebrated International Women’s Day for years; 2016 and 2017
2016- Theme: Pledge for Parity
2017 (3 Day Celebration) starting from Monday, 6th March, 2017 at Adeyemi Bero State Auditorium, Alausa; with Lecture on BE BOLD FOR CHANGE, followed by visits on Tuesday, 7th March to indigents Women in Makoko and Ikorodu and on Wednesday, 8th March a Parade by different Women Groups at Police College Ground, GRA, Ikeja and a Dinner later in the day to honour our Women at the De- Renaissance Hotel, Ikeja.
- 3845 Women were empowered, 645 in 2016 and 3200 in 2017.
- Over 200 Rural Women had been trained on snail and grass cutter rearing.
- Establishment of 30 hectares of cassava and other crops for the training of Rural Women in Agricultural production and processing.
- A total number of 12,353 students graduated from the Ministry’s Skill Acquisition Centres spread across the State in the last 2 years.(2015- 6,248 and 2016 – 6,105 =12,353)
- In collaboration with the Ministry of Health, Health screening, enlightenment campaign and examination on breast/cervical cancer and sugar & blood pressure tests were carried out on 31st October 2015, for 668 numbers of women at the Arise Women Conference, City of David, Victoria Island.
- A total number of 1480 Domestic Violence matters were reported from Y2015 – March Y2017 -( 565 in 2015, 700 in 2016- and between Jan – March 2017 – 215).
- 875 matters had been amicably resolved and follow up reviews conducted as well.
- 480 matters were counseled and referred to other Agencies because their requests were not within the purview of the Ministry. Like legal, Health issues, Youth and Social Development such cases were followed up.
- 115 Client’s matters were disengaged due to family interventions
- 20 matters are still on-going.
ON-GOING PROJECTS AND TARGETS BEFORE THE END OF THE YEAR
- Construction of Ibeshe Garri Processing Centre, Cold Room, Market Stalls and Viewing Centres is on-going.
- Ibeshe Skill Acquisition Centre with a capacity to train 600 students.
- Construction of 2 fibre boats for people in Riverine Areas.
- 4 Week– Skill Acquisition Training for 100 women living with HIV/AIDS and care Giver
- Inspection/Monitoring of NGOs (Non-Governmental Organizations)
- 4– Week Skill Acquisition Training for Vulnerable Women in the State.
- Annual Conference/Awareness on Prostitution and trafficking/interactive Session
- Celebration of Widows Day (1000 Participants)
- 4-6 wk Skill Acquisition and Empowerment of widows
- Digital Training for Women
- Entrepreneurial Development and Management Skills Training for Women
- Workshop and Training for Women Development Focus NGO
- Sponsorship of Women to Year 2017 COWLSO Organised National Women Conference.
- WAPA Connect Conference
- Graduation of 2017 SAC student ( 5000)
WOMEN DEVELOPMENT CENTRE ON-GOING PROJECTS
- The renovation of the Centre commenced in Year 2016 with the first phase completed.
- The Training rooms and the main auditorium were renovated, painted and new air conditioners installed.
- The second phase will commence in the 2nd quarter of year 2017, which is the renovation of the 40 Rooms Guest House managed by Blossom group Hotel to bring it to an enviable status to be able to compete with other hotels, in the area.
Gentlemen of the Press, I wish to note that all the aforementioned achievements by the Ministry were borne out of our resolve to actualize our Mission of “Women Development and Poverty Reduction as a Means to attaining Sustainable Growth through Efficient and Prompt Service Delivery” and as well as our total focus and commitment to our Vision “To Sustainably Reduce Poverty in Lagos State”.
Let me say therefore as a matter of emphasis that WAPA will continue to embark on Activities, Programmes and Policies that will lead to total emancipation of Lagos Women and place them in the same pedestal with their counterparts in advanced countries of the world. All these are in line with His Excellency, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode’s vision for the State at large.
Contact us at:
- Domestic Violence Helpline: 08085594141
Thank you all for your time and God Bless.
Itesiwaju Ipinle Eko Lo je Wa Logun!
Hon. Lola Akande
Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation.