150 vulnerable women in Alimosho area of Lagos State have benefitted
from a recent skills acquisition programme under the State Ministry of
Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, WAPA, in line with the
all-inclusive policy of the present administration.
(Mrs.) Lola Akande, Commissioner for Women Affairs and Poverty
Alleviation, who disclosed this at the closing ceremony of the
Short-Term Skills Acquisition Training For Women living with HIV/AIDS in
Alimosho, stated that over 800 women spread across various groups such
as widows, retirees and people with health challenges from different
areas across the State have received start-up kits after completion of
short-term training in diverse vocations.
reiterated that the State Government is mindful of the fact that the
prevailing economic circumstances pose serious challenges to women in
particular and this informed the creation of 17 functional Skills
Acquisition Centres across the five divisions of the State where
indigents are trained on a tuition-free basis.
Commissioner said that the beneficiaries have been trained in different
vocations like Bead Making & Stringing, Events Decoration, Tie
& Dye, Catering, Hat Making, Soap and Pomade/ Insecticide Production
among others and have consequently been given certificates and start-up
averred that the objective of the initiative is to train women, girls
and men alike in various skills and vocations for the purpose of
economic empowerment and lifting their status from the state of
dependency to self-reliance, saying that about 5,000 people have
benefited from this since the inception of the present administration.
expressed delight that the beneficiaries of the short-term vocational
training who are majorly vulnerable women are now contributing to family
and societal development.
explained further that one of the reasons why the present
administration is keen about women development and empowerment is to
ensure financial independence for women which, according to the
Commissioner, was a critical step for the women to take charge of their
lives and for mainstreaming the gender into governance, especially in
respect to politics and public life.
her words, “It is noteworthy that empowerment has been a front-burner
issue for both the past and present leadership in Lagos State. They had,
therefore, identified that the challenges posed by poverty amongst
women can only be surmounted through empowerment projects and programmes
such as this”.
State Government also, through the Ministry of Wealth Creation and
Employment, set up the Employment Trust Fund in the State to promote
entrepreneurial activities to assist women in their business. Loans
ranging from 100,000 to 5,000,000 Naira are being given to qualified
entrepreneurs under the scheme for which N6.25 billion yearly, totalling N25
billion in four years have been earmarked. Over 12,000 jobs have been
created through this scheme in the past 3 years”, Akande restated.
Commissioner, however, advised the beneficiaries to look beyond their
HIV status, just as she called on members of the public to desist from
stigmatising those living with the disease as this will go a long way to
support and encourage the victims of HIV/AIDS.