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LASG short-term empowerment programme hits 11,251 beneficiaries



By Moses Adeniyi

Number of beneficiaries who have benefitted from the Lagos State Government’s (LASG) Short-Term Skills, Training Acquisition and Empowerment programme has hit no less than 11,251 as at the third quarter (Q3) of 2022, since its inception in 2019 – Nigerian NewsDirect has learnt.

The beneficiaries who obtained the training skills on various vocations, across the available centres, in the five divisions of the State, were empowered with kits for start-up, upon graduation from the free training period.

The programme, which has recorded over 11,251 graduands between 2019 and 2022, extends its reach to women and youths, including faith-based organisation in the five divisions of the State.

In Q3, 2023, 250 beneficiaries are being trained at each of the identified Centres.

The short-term programme being conducted every three months, affords trainees on skills acquisition in Events Decoration, Tie & Dye, Catering and confectioneries, Gele Tying and Make-Up Application, Ankara Craft and Leather Works, Hair Dressing and Wig making, Fabrics Stoning and Embellishments, Throw Pillow making and Interior Decorations, Production of Soap and Pomade and household Products, as well as Tie and Dye Adire making.

At the closing ceremony of a 4-week Short-term Skills Acquisition Training organised by the State Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation (WAPA) for participants in Command Ipaja and its Environments, Agbado-Okeodo, Local Council Development Area, Alimosho Local Government, Lagos, the Commissioner for Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation (WAPA) said with the dearth of “white-collar” jobs amidst the prevailing economic conditions in the Country, the State Government has recognised the essence of vocational trainings to curb unemployment for economic viability.

“The Lagos State Government has embarked on vocational trainings for women, men and youths as a means to curb unemployment and empower citizens towards self-reliance with bid to achieve a viable economy. One of such socio-economic intervention programmes, is the 4 Weeks Short-term Skills Acquisition programme,” she said.

Applauding the large turn-out of the participants, she said “the programme is a socio-economic intervention which is directed at financial sustainability and progress. There is a dearth of white collar jobs that are seriously going into extinction.”

According to her, it was in realisation of this that “the Lagos State Government established 19 functional Skills Acquisition Centres, with 20 vocations being taught at these Centres that are situated across the State.”

She mentioned that an additional centre yet-to-be Commissioned Centres at Agidingbi Road, Ikeja and one more Centre at Ibeshe, would take course soon, “hence, creating an avenue of self – sustainability for the Lagos citizenry.”

According to her, Communities which have been reached in the 4-week trainings include: Agege, Orile-Agege, Iba, Oto-Awori, Mushin, Odi-Olowo, Iru, Ajido – Badagry, Ibeju – Lekki, Ikosi – Ejiirin, Epe, Ebute -Metta, Ikeja, Irewe in Ojo Local Government ,as well as Topo – Badagry, settlements of the State.

“This also includes trainings and empowerment for Islamic and Christian based faith groups, Wives of Military officers, Wives of Civil Servants official, (COWLSO), People Living With Disabilities, Retiring Public Servants, People Living With Human Immunodeficiency Virus, People Living With Sickle Cell Anemia, SUBEB Parents-of-out-School Students, NASFAT, as well as Internally Displaced People,” she added.

The Commissioner who was represented by the Deputy Director, Women Affairs, WAPA, Mrs. Bode Onidoyin, said the empowerment was strategic to socio-economic development as a strategy to tackle poverty.

According to her, the State Government having recognised the prevailing economic circumstances, has acknowledged the significance of women empowerment.

“The present Administration under the able leadership of Mr. Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu has taken women empowerment as one of its focal policies, in order to mitigate the effects of poverty prevalence amongst women,” Dada said.

According to her, the objective to empower women was “for upliftment of their status from state of dependency to resourcefulness in providing the needs of their respective families.”

Dada said the State has zero tolerance for idleness and mediocrity, but “encourages productivity, and the ideals of financial sustainability, with a focus on self dependence.”

She called, particularly, on “unemployed persons, the under-employed and those who are still patiently waiting for white collar jobs, to utilise these opportunities by learning at least a vocation to become self-dependent,” saying “Lagos State Government has zero tolerance to idleness in any form.”

She said testimonies of beneficiaries who are thriving in their vocations approve the significance and value of the programme.

“I will like to inform this gathering, that following the success stories of these trainings, several letters of recommendations have been flowing in, one of such letters is appreciation Letter from the Management of Lekki Worldwide Investment Limited, stating that amongst the recently concluded Short -Term Skills Acquisition and Empowerment programme, six of such beneficiaries are doing very well in their craftsmanship with the aid of the free work tools by MWAPA,” she said.

In his remark, representative of all the CDAs around Ajosepo environment, Pastor M.O. Ogunleye, said the effort was a reflection of good leadership, appreciating the Governor and the Commissioner for the empowerment.

He said the measure was a rare opportunity and dividend of democracy, requesting that “they expect more,” to lift youths, women and the vulnerable from lack to self sufficiency.

He charged the beneficiaries “not to bury the talent as the biblical illustration of the man who buried his talent.”

“Go and utilise it, this is a rare opportunity,” he said.

A beneficiary, Odunayo Celestina, said it was a wonderful empowerment which would remain with the participants, as it would serve as new way for many graduates who have not been able to get white collar jobs to get on with vocations to utilise their potentials.


Ogun Govt sympathises with victims of Ado Odo/Ota over rainstorm destruction



…’We’re in touch with IBEDC for prompt action’

Ogun State  Government said it  is in touch with the Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IBEDC) to ensure the immediate fixing of poles damaged as a result of rainstorm occasioned by Sunday’s downpour in some parts of Sango in Ado Odo/Ota Local Government Area of the state.

The government, in a statement signed by the Special Adviser on Media, Hon. Kayode Akinmade said a team from the state government was in the area on Monday to physically ascertain the extent of damage and to know how to engage with IBEDC, as well as sympathising with victims.

Akinmade noted the cables had not been energised before the destruction, which saved lots of lives.

“Our team went on physical site inspection of the affected area on Monday to ascertain the extent of the damage and to know how to engage with the IBEDC team.

“We are currently working with the IBEDC team led by the Regional Manager and the Technical Head for the Ogun Region. Some of the less affected feeders have been restored and energised while the clean-up of the most affected areas has already started.

“Most of the poles on the roads have been removed while the remaining will be taken out today (Wednesday). We are working with IBEDC to ensure there will be full restoration of power in Sango Ota before the week runs out.

“The government is not relenting in its effort to make sure that we restore power to Sango Ota and its environs and we can assure the citizens that we are on top on the matter.

“We, therefore, commiserate with those whose properties were destroyed by the fallen poles, as the government urged those living in the area to remain calm.”

Residents of lyana lyesi, Osuke Town, Egan Road, lyana Ilogbo, Ijaba, Ijagba, Itele, Lafenwa, Singer, Joju, Alishiba, Oju Ore, Tollgate, Eledi, Akeja, Abebi, Osi Roundabout, Ota Town, Ota Industrial Estate, Igberen, lju, Atan, Onipanu, Obasanjo, Lusada, Arigba, Odugbe, Ado-Odo, Igbesa, Owode. Olokuta, Hanushi, Bamtish Camp Lufiwape, Eltees Farm, August Engineering, Spark Cear Soap Ayetoro, Amazing Grace Oil, Christopher University, Royal Garden Estate were affected by the disaster.

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Ortom urges Alia to work with SGF for more democracy dividends in Benue



By Titus Atondu, Makurdi

The former Governor of Benue State, Chief Samuel Ortom, has called on his successor, Governor Hyacinth Alia to work in synergy  with the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, (SGF), Sen George Akume for sustainable democracy dividends to the state.

 Ortom made the call in Makurdi  while speaking at the public lecture organised by his former aides on the occasion of his 63rd birthday.

Ortom described Sen George Akume as a true father, his leader and mentor and attributed all his achievements in life to the SGF.

He  also thanked Governor Hyacinth Alia for his good will message on his birthday and warned that Benue state has not had the position of SGF in the past and called on Governor Alia to embrace and work with him to enable the state to benefit from the position.

“Benue is our state, we have no other state and no one will come from anywhere to bring peace to Benue.

“Alia must sheathe his sword and find ways to work with the SGF so that all of us can enjoy the dividends of that position,” Ortom maintained.

He noted that elections were conducted and won, litigation were entered and God gave him victory saying, “It is his responsibility to do the needful so that Benue state will be at peace.”

Ortom expressed worry  that Benue is under siege and the governor alone or the SGF and himself cannot fight it alone without working collectively. He therefore noted that, “We are available if we are called upon to support or add value to the peace efforts of the government so that our people can live and enjoy the dividends of democracy.”

He  enjoined Benue people to pray for their leaders, Ortom said, “If I had my way, I would have given everyone the opportunity to be the Governor even in a few days.

“The challenges are enormous. You would not understand the challenges we go through but when you are there, you will understand the issues better.

“Nigeria is passing through very difficult times and that was what I was fighting against and I’m happy that people appreciated what we were doing,” he explained.

He appreciated his former appointees for organising the celebration of his 63 birthday anniversary in his honour.

“I’m very humbled by this special lecture on my 63 birthday celebration. This is not my first but this is the first time I’m witnessing a lecture and I must say that I’m pleased and enriched with all that was said here.

“I was taken unawares. You have made me know that I am appreciated. I thought I was used and dumped. I’m grateful to God for the eight years in office. I did everything with the fear of God, with equity, justice and fairness.

“I must have stepped on toes and those I know and those I didn’t know, I ask for forgiveness. I am humbled by this programme and further encouraged by your presence, kind words and prayers,” Ortom testified.

Guest Lecturer, Prof Samuel Aghalino, in the department of History and International Studies, University of Ilorin who is also the President Historical Society of Nigeria said, “Ortom was that Governor with a face cap. Anyone with a face cap is a revolutionary.

“Ortom played a significant role in extending politics beyond the borders of the state.

“He is one of the few politicians that stood in defense of his people, and was passionate in standing for human value while also demonstrating uncommon leadership.

“He was committed to the wellbeing of his people and stood vehemently, against the then government for murdering justice, fairness, equity and accountability, adding that Ortom expressed a rare readiness to cooperate with the investigations.

“He was a servant leader at a great cost to himself. At a time, during the Buhari administration, the doors of Aso Rock, the seat of power was shut against him for speaking the truth to power and holding the powerful accountable. I wonder how he survived.

“Ortom believes that politicians do not have to strive to be perfect to provide good governance to the people because only God is perfect. In his mind, you only have to love the people, therefore when it comes to democratic considerations, Ortom represents the school of thought that existence must take precedence over essence in governance.”

He said Ortom will be remembered by his people for the numerous things he has done and still doing.

Nigerian NewsDirect reports that the lecture was graced by prominent personalities like the former Attorney General of the federation and minister of Justice, Mike Aondakaa, Speaker, Plateau State House of Assembly, Gabriel Dewan, Member representing Apa-Agatu Federal Constituency, Pastor, Ojotu Ojema, Former Deputy Governor, Engr Benson Abounu, representatives of the Tor Tiv, Professor James Ayatse, Ter Gwer Dominic Akpete, the Ochidoma, Ogabaidu John Elaigwu represented by Dr Chris Ijale among others

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Katsina Gov. tasks corps members on nation building, cultism



By Matthew Denis

The Governor of Katsina State, Mallam Dikko Umaru Radda has tasked National Youth Service Corps members deployed to the State for the one year national service to strive towards nation building.

This is contained in a statement signed by Director, Press and Public Relations, Eddy Megwa, to the governor and made available to journalists on Wednesday.

He also lauded the immense contributions of successive batches of corps members to the socio-economic development of Katsina State over the years, especially through corps members community development service projects and also increasing the manpower needs in schools and in the industrial sector across the State.

Governor Raddah disclosed this at the NYSC Katsina State Orientation Camp, while speaking through his Deputy, Alhaji Farouk Lawal Jobe during the swearing-in ceremony of the prospective corps members deployed to the State.

The Governor urged the corps members to embrace the opportunities of the orientation course to prepare themselves for leadership responsibilities.

“I challenge you to live up to the standard already set by your predecessors. It is my belief that the orientation lectures will stimulate you to strive for the socio-economic development of our country.

“I urge you to see the opportunity of your call to service as a rare opportunity and your commitment to the Oath of Allegiance to your fatherland”, he said.

He also advised the corps members to shun cultism, political and religious intolerance with other forms of anti-social behaviour.

The NYSC Katsina State Coordinator, Hajiya Aisha Muhammad in her address stated that the orientation course is the first among the cardinal programmes of the NYSC, which was designed to prepare corps members for the challenges of the service year and beyond.

She added that the orientation course, which is a regimented environment has over the years been able to inculcate in the youth, the spirit of positive citizenship, leadership values including the ideals of commitment to national assignment, patriotism, integrity, diligence and loyalty to the fatherland.

“I enjoin you to obey all camp rules and regulations as any erring corps member will be referred to the Camp court for appropriate sanctions in line with the provision of the NYSC by-laws,” She added.

The Coordinator also said a total of 1,410 prospective corps members comprising 715 males and 695 females were deployed to the State.

The Director General of National Youth Service Corps, Brigadier General YD Ahmed who was among the dignitaries that witnessed the swearing-in ceremony earlier in the day implored the corps members to take full advantage of the NYSC Skills Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development (SAED) programme and acquire at least a skill while in camp.

The DG added that skills acquisition is the remedy to the increasing youth unemployment in the country.

General Ahmed who urged the corps members to be security conscious at all times also advised them to obey the cultural beliefs of their host communities.

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