Over 50,635 Lagosians directly impacted by WAPA strategic empowerment under Sanwo-Olu — Report


By Moses Adeniyi

Lagosians directly impacted positively from a number of poverty alleviation programmes of the Lagos State Government under the State’s Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation (WAPA) within the duration of the four years of the Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu led administration has hit over 50,635.

The 50,635 figure is a summation of direct beneficiaries from empowerment programmes under WAPA which include the vocational trainings at 20 Skills Acquisition Centres (record of 16,900 graduates); 4-Weeks Short-term Skills Acquisition programme (13,500 beneficiaries); Micro-Enterprise Support Initiative (10,385 beneficiaries); Empowerment for widows (8,000 beneficiaries); Farming and rural empowerment (1,050 beneficiaries); Digital marketing training (500 women beneficiaries); Catfish breeding (300 women beneficiaries).

The figure is however, exclusive from other empowerment programmes channelled by other Ministeries, Department and Agencies of the Government within the period under review.

The multiplier effect, the Government disclosed would further indirectly impact hundreds of thousands of residents of the State who would indirectly be impacted as job creation and opportunities from those empowered are believed to spread to further reduce poverty in the State.

According to data gathered by NewsDirect, no less than 16,900 Lagos residents were lifted from poverty through technical empowerment to become productively valuable with capacity to employ labour within the duration of the four years of the Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu led administration which is still running.

The Commissioner for Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation (WAPA), Lagos,  Mrs. Bolaji Dada disclosed this, mentioning that the empowerment were channelled through 20 Skills Acquisition Centres eatabliahed across the State by the Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation where no fewer than 20 vocations are being taught free of Charge.

She disclosed that aside from the 16,900 which were trained and empowered through the vocational centres, additional  13,500 Women had been trained and empowered in the 4-Weeks Short-term Skills Acquisition programme organised by the Ministry from 2019 till date.

She said the Governor Sanwo-Olu led administration in the operational implementation of policies using the T.H.E.M.E.S agenda, the government’s policy thrust, has strategically ensured the actualisation of the agenda, giving premium reflection to gender equality and has indeed embrace equity, in line with with International best practices on Developmental Economic strategies.

“In line with the THEMES Agenda of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu in making Lagos a 21st Century Economy, the Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation has established 20 Skills Acquisition Centres across the State, where no fewer than 20 vocations are being taught free of charge,” Dada who spoke at the Year 2023 International Women’s day Celebration tagged: “#Embrace Equity,” organised by the Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, said.

According to her, 16,900 students have graduated from year 2019 till date, “most of whom had become employers of labour through the skills acquired and Certificates being awarded which has enabled them proceed for further education in the State.”

“These has helped to reduce unemployment in the State,” she said.

On the Micro-Enterprise Support Initiative (MESI) which is a social intervention by the State Government through the Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, she disclosed that the Ministry had empowered a total number of 10,385 beneficiaries with working tools within the period under review.

“The Ministry had trained 500 women in Digital marketing and  gave Androids to them, in order to cushion the effects COVID-19 pandemic on their Micro businesses in the State,” she added.

According to her, 8,000 widows have been empowered by the Administration from 2019 till date, 3,000 during the International Widow’s day and the others at various empowerment interventions.

She added that the Ministry under her watch had also given Grants-in-Aid to women-focused Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) as support for their services towards humanity.

“1,050 women had benefitted from the cassava/vegetable farm cultivation and empowerment for rural women,” she said, adding that “they were given free farmland to cultivate their crops for 10 months.”

She added that 300 women were trained on Catfish breeding, “with a good number of them already thriving as entrepreneurs.”

She further stated that the State Government through the Ministry has taken a stance against all forms of Gender-Based violence.

“From time to time, we organise programmes on Advocacy and sensitization against all forms of violence against women and the public. We have organised workshops on Good Parenting, to curb social vices and to educate parents on their roles in curbing sexual violence from their homes,” she added.

Describing Sanwo-Olu as “HE for SHE Champion,” she mentioned, he is very passionate about the plight of women in Lagos State.

She related the actualisation of the feat to the support and vision of Governor Sanwo-Olu, stating “I will like to emphasise that all these programmes were  possible because of the support of our able Governor, Mr. sellable, Mr. Project, Mr. Railway, our incident Commander, our HE 4 SHE champion, the Omoluabi of Lagos.”

“The Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu at the inception of his Administration, has reiterated his unwavering commitments, to  implement policies using  the T.H.E.M.E.S agenda which is geared towards economic growth and development through the blueprints of his predecessors, in order to build a progressively Greater Lagos.

“In almost four years, this Administration has been working earnestly to actualise the electoral promises and manifesto of the All Progressive Congress ( APC), by translating the Vision into actions in the march towards achieving a Lagos that is at par with International best practices on Developmental Economic strategies.

“Today, we are gathered here to celebrate the progress made towards achieving gender  equality and women’s empowerment as instituted by the United Nations on the 8th of March. More importantly, to critically reflect on those accomplishments and strive for a greater momentum towards gender- equality worldwide.

“Ladies and gentlemen, we at the Center of Excellence; Lagos, Nigeria, join the change makers all over the world in a unanimous alliance to prioritise gender equality and indeed Embrace Equity.

“This particularly showcases the importance of women and Girls’ empowerment, even as it evaluates their rights to economic resources, access to sexual and reproductive well-being, as tools for socio- economic growth of every State,” she said.

She encouraged “women in Lagos state, Nigeria and all over the world, to avail themselves of various opportunities to become empowered, self-reliant, self-confident, even as we strive to attain Leadership positions across the World.

“Let us continue to work together towards a better and more equitable future for all women,” she said.

She congratulated all the women acknowledging other key women advocate champions in the State including the First lady, Lagos, Dr. (Mrs)   Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu, who she described, “as a woman per excellence,” the Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat and his wife, Mrs. Oluremi Hamzat.

Governor Sanwo-Olu who is seekingw a re-election in the Saturday governorship and State Assembly polls, has two months and half to the completion of his first four years tenure in office.