Mrs Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu, wife of Lagos State Governor, has encouraged graduands of the state’s 19 Skills Acquisition Centres to cultivate positive attitude, start small and grow big.
Sanwo-Olu gave the advice at the Year 2021 graduation ceremony of 3,986 students, organised by Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation (WAPA), held at Isheri-Olowora, Ojodu Berger on Wednesday.
She was represented by Mrs Oluremi Hazmat, wife of Lagos State Deputy Governor, who was the special guest of honour.
“I congratulate you, having worked day and night to acquire knowledge and skills in 20 different vocations at the 19 Skill Acquisition Centres across the state and awarded Lagos State competence certificates.
“I salute your courage and determination to make something meaningful out of your life and pray that this knowledge will be a stepping stone to greatness for all of you,” she said.
She noted that the Lagos State Government (LASG) understood the prevailing economic circumstances and challenges faced, hence the creation of 19 functional Skills Acquisition Centres across five Divisions of the state.
According to her, 20 skills are being offered tuition free for the benefit of women, young persons and the indigent across the state.
This, she said, was for the purpose of empowerment and upgrade of their status from dependency to self reliance.
She applauded Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, describing him as ‘he for she advocate and champion of women and young persons’.
“My special appreciation to my Mr Governor, my darling husband, Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, members of State Executive, critical stakeholders and WAPA for working in various capacities to complement efforts of the state government in our dear state,” she said.
Also, Mrs Cecilia Dada, Commissioner for WAPA, said that the graduands had been trained and equipped with skills and equipment needed to make a living for themselves as well as compete favorably in the labour market.
“It will be recalled that a total number of 6,252 graduated from the skills acquisition centres in year 2019 and 3,262 in year 2020, and today, 3,986 students will be graduating for year 2021 session.
“We are all aware of the unavailability of white collar jobs in our society and challenges in getting professional jobs.
“This programme, bridges the gap between young school leavers, drop -outs and vulnerable young men and women, who are not academically inclined or were not able to pursue their educational goals due to financial restrictions or poverty.
“These skills include Hairdressing and Cosmetology Catering and Hotel Management, Computer Training,Textile Designing, Hats making, Beads stringing,
Barbing, Printing Technology, Shoe Making and Leather-works, Furniture and Woodwork, Welding, Block/ Tile Laying and Adult Literacy.
“Others are Aluminum Fabrication,
Rubber Marcaine and Graf, Fashion design/Dress making, Photography, Repair of Refrigerators & Air-conditioning, Vulcanizing/ Wheel balancing, Brick Laying,” she stated.
According to her, some of the skills being taught, like welding and fabrication, vulcanizing and even brick laying, seem masculine, but women are engaged on them, provided such trainees are willing to learn.
Dada urged the graduands to use the opportunity provided by the Lagos State Government to become employers of labour as well as support their families financially.
She mentioned another state intervention programme in the ministry, the Micro-Enterprise Support Initiative, where vulnerable women and the Indigent are empowered with working tools as setup packs.
The commissioner said the tools include grinding machines, sewing machines, hair dryers, barbing sets with generators, sharwama makers, cassava cutters, fryers, pressers and cake mixers.
She said they were provided with these for financial sustainability. (NAN)