By Jumu’ah Abiodun, Abeokuta
A total of 136 individuals who have undergone trainings in six different vocations under the Ogun State Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development’s Skill Acquisition and Empowerment Programme have graduated with all of them provided with working tools.
The vocational trainings including: sewing, hairdressing, knitting, barbing, shoemaking and catering lasted for a period ranging between six and 12 months.
Speaking at the ceremony, held at the Women Development Center in Abeokuta, Wife of the State Governor, Mrs. Olufunsho Amosun declared that vocational training and skill acquisition had become veritable means of empowering people in developing countries, particularly women to make them self-reliant and enhance their capabilities of contributing to socio-economic growth of the society.
Mrs. Amosun, represented by the wife of the state Commissioner for Housing, Mrs. Afolashade Adejobi noted that it was against this backdrop that her husband’s administration had placed the issues of skill acquisition on the front burner.
She added that under the “Uplift” programme, her office had in the last two years been embarking on multi-dimensional vocational skills to empower a sizeable number of both indigenes and residents in different lucrative trades to make them self- reliant, expressing optimism that the gesture would rid the society of hunger, joblessness, poverty and crime among others.
“The welfare of the entire citizenry, particularly women is paramount in the agenda of the Senator Ibikunle Amosun led- administration to ensure that our women are empowered and self-sufficient. What we are witnessing today would go a long way in boosting the economic power of women in the state .When our people are empowered with basic vocational skills, the society would be rid of hunger, poverty joblessness, crime among others” she stated.
The Governor’s wife therefore urged the graduands to make judicious use of the trainings acquired and the tools given them to better their lots and become employers of labour in order to create wealth and reduce poverty to the barest minimum.
In her opening remarks, the state Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Mrs. Elizabeth Sonubi said her Ministry had taken necessary steps to resuscitate the hitherto moribund Vocational Training Center in Abeokuta in recognition of its immense roles in the Ministry’s plan on empowerment programmes.
She added that the Ministry in collaboration with a commercial bank had before now undertaken two batches of micro-credit loan scheme worth N300 million, adding that another batch is already in the offing.
The Commissioner enjoined the graduands to form themselves into groups in order to access the micro credit funds, assuring that her Ministry would remain unwavering in its plan of improving the welfare of all residents of the State.
One of the graduands, Mrs. Mary Gbadebo, who undertook catering training applauded the Senator Ibikunle Amosun led-administration for the laudable gesture given free of charge, saying it has opened new windows of opportunity for them to become self-reliant and employers of labour.