The Lagos State Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation on Tuesday graduated 6,099 students from its 17 Skill Acquisition Centres for the 2017 session.

Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, in a goodwill message delivered by his Deputy, Mrs. Idiat Adebule at the Blue Roof, LTV Ikeja, said as part of its poverty alleviation strategies, the present Administration has provided an opportunity for young people to enhance their socio-economic wellbeing through vocational skills acquisition.

In his words “The immediate benefit available to the graduates that we are celebrating today is that they are qualified to access soft loans from the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund as seed capital to transform their entrepreneurial visions into reality”.

He said further that the skills acquisition and vocational training programme is proving to be much of a success as the “Ready, Set, Work” initiative, which was introduced to equip final year students in all tertiary institutions in Lagos State with skills and a mindset that would prepare them to become job and wealth generators.

The Governor also expressed delight to note that Lagosians, residents and investors have continued to believe in the initiatives for growing the economy by thinking locally and acting globally.

He said the Skills Acquisition and Vocational Training Centres in Lagos State are equipped to teach various vocations with adequate equipment to enable the graduates stand on their feet, running with minimal seed money.

On her part, the Wife of the Lagos State Governor, Mrs. Bolanle Ambode noted that the recent inclusion of new skills like solar energy production, plumbing, fishnet production, electrical and electronics certainly increases market value and widens the scope of professional engagement for trainees.

She also said that the remarkable success of the skill acquisition training programme is a testimonial to the commitment of the State government to job creation and overall improvement of the welfare of the youths and Lagosians in general.

Earlier in her welcome address, the State Commissioner for Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Dr. (Mrs) Lola Akande said by reason of their competencies, graduands have been empowered to cross the line between idleness, hopelessness and poverty into the realm of skillfulness and entrepreneurial opportunities which banishes poverty and guarantees hope for a better future.

She also stated that the graduation ceremony is yet another proof that the present administration is not paying mere lip service to the issue of empowerment of women and the general populace through Acquisition of Skills that can make them gainfully engaged and ultimately employ others.

This move, according to her, is also in alignment with global thinking even as the General Assembly of the United Nations in September 2015 adopted 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) in which reduction of hunger and eradication of poverty rank topmost among the 17 goals outlined.

Speaking on the efforts of the Ministry to make more impact through skill acquisition, the Commissioner noted that the Ministry has continuously improved the facilities at the various centres and also expanded its multi-faceted in nature.

According to her, “Among the giant strides of the Ministry as we look to the future is the Women Multipurpose Centre, which had its Ground Breaking ceremony in Agidiginbi, Ikeja recently and also the state-of-the-art Skills Acquisition Centre among other facilities”.

Other top dignitaries at the event include the Lagos State Head of Service, Mrs. Folasade Adesoye, Permanent Secretaries, Women Political Leaders and other Stake Holders in Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation in the State.