Monday, October 13, 2014 7:26 pm
Kazeem UgbodagaLagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola on Monday flagged off the second phase of the Economic Empowerment Programme empowering additional 14,000 residents of Lagos in what is the single biggest empowerment programme in the nation.
The empowerment programme was flagged off at 10 different councils simultaneously, but the governor was at the Alimosho Local Government, Ikotun area of Lagos, Southwest Nigeria to flag-off the event.
Addressing the large gathering, Fashola said the empowerment programme would last for one month, with participants trained in various areas, such as bead making, tailoring, sewing, textile design, catering, tie and dye, insecticide, event planning, among others.
Fashola, who was represented by the Deputy Governor, Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire urged the beneficiaries of the free programme to ensure they attended classes on daily basis, warning that anyone who missed the training for a day would have his or her name delisted from the programme and would not get a certificate.
“If you are not ready for this programme, you better stay at home and don’t come. It is compulsory, and the fact that you are not paying for it does not mean you should take it for granted. By the second week of this programme, you will be able to stand by what you are being taught,” he said.
According to Fashola, the participants would get training kits in line with their chosen vocations, adding that the programme was initially designed to empower 10,000 unemployed men and women.
He stated that when the programme was initially flagged-off on 25 August, 2014, 25,000 men and women applied in just two days, which far exceeded what was intentionally planned, insisting that all those who registered must be trained, which informed the second phase of the programme.
The governor disclosed that in the first phase, 11,862 unemployed men and women were trained instead of 5,000 initially earmarked to be trained under the first phase, adding that in the second phase, 14,000 unemployed men and women would be trained.
“You will only be trained on one skill. I implore you to pay attention to what you are going to hear from your instructors. Ask questions when you don’t understand. It is a free programme, government paid for it. Don’t give your money to anybody. This programme is meant for you to eke out a living for yourselves,” he added.
Speaking, the Deputy Governor, Orelope-Adefulire, whose speech was read by the Special Adviser in the Office of the Deputy Governor, Risikat Akiyode said the government had been empowering Lagosians, with 35,000 men and women benefitting so far.
She said government had so far established 18 skills and acquisition programme centres across the state where many people had been trained and empowered to eke out a living for themselves and be employers of labour.