*Gov Sanwo-Olu lauds initiative, says empowerment is key to economic liberation
*reiterates zero-tolerance stance of Lagos Govt against all forms of violence
Lagos State First Lady, Dr. Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu on Tuesday, hosted the 4th Annual Community Sensitization and Empowerment Programme designed to play up issues that are germane to the welfare and wellbeing of residents and get useful feedback that can aid effective planning and development.
Among others, various topics were extensively discussed including domestic and sexual violence, drug abuse, voters’ education, prevention of Tuberculosis and Monkeypox, and an update on the “Eko Clean Air” Initiative aimed at creating awareness about air pollution and usage of eco-friendly gas cylinders.
Speaking at the programme held at Lagos House, Alausa, Ikeja, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu commended the First Lady for her passion in tackling the menace of drug abuse and the issue of domestic and gender-based violence.
“I commend you (First Lady) and your team for your continued effort in spreading the word about these unwholesome social vices which tear at the fabric of our society. It is a well-established fact that the family is the bedrock of any society and a stable family unit is one that will raise strong men and women capable of leading for success,” the Governor said.
Represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Mrs. Folashade Jaji, the Governor recalled that since the inception of the present administration, the First Lady has been at the forefront of the fight against all forms of abuse, and implementation of complementary projects toward building a stable society which, according to him, is a key objective of his administration’s policy as encapsulated in the THEMES Agenda.
“The issues that the First Lady has decided to address under the program are germane to building the Lagos of our collective desires and are some of the very important issues that the government has developed projects, initiatives, and strategies to address.
“I am aware that in her campaign against the violation of women and children’s rights in Lagos State and Nigeria, the First Lady has partnered with numerous groups and Non-Governmental Organizations to ensure that all the nooks and crannies of the state are touched. This has further underscored her unwavering commitment to walk in the great vision of this administration to bring remarkable improvements to the lives of women, girls, and children in vital areas of health, empowerment, education, and rights protection,” he said.
The Governor, who reiterated the zero-tolerance stance of the state government against all forms of violence, said no effort would be spared in ensuring that such acts are confined to the dustbin of history that they belong.
He also commended the financial and economic empowerment component of the First Lady’s programme, saying the tools and equipment handed to the beneficiaries would go a long way to engender their economic liberation.
“It is most gratifying that this initiative also has the objective to empower women, elders, artisans, disabled, community associations, and youth groups 500 of whom will be beneficiaries of various tools and equipment to start their own businesses and live their lives with dignity, Governor Sanwo-Olu said, just as he urged them to make judicious use of the resources.
In her opening remarks, the First Lady said the programme was conceived as a platform to link government with residents, thereby promoting mutual understanding which is the essential ingredient required to fast-track growth and oil the wheel of progress.
According to her, “It is also an avenue for government and other organizations to provide useful and beneficial information to residents on programs, policies, initiatives, and projects, while also creating the space for robust feedback which, in turn, will aid adequate and all-inclusive planning.”
She said since the 1st edition was held on November 27, 2019, the program has become an annual event to support residents and empower target groups that require financial assistance and economic empowerment to be financially independent.
“For us, this programme has come to stay as the vehicle for residents to maximize the opportunities being created by the government, give useful feedback that can enhance planning and also help them benefit from massive economic empowerment,” she said.
In addition to the six main lectures, there were presentations by Lagos State Health Management Agency, Lagos State Waste Management Authority, Lagos State Residents Registration Agency, Lagos State Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Lagos State Ministry of Agriculture, Lagos State Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives; Lagos State Water Regulatory Commission, 9 Payment Service Bank on financial inclusion, and the Nigerian-German Centre for Jobs, Migration & Reintegration.
Participants were drawn from various groups and organizations including widows, artisans, the disabled, youth organizations, political youths, political groups, professional bodies, and community-based organizations.
Also, the beneficiaries were empowered with various tools including catering equipment (gas burner with cylinder), popcorn machine with gas cylinder, vulcanizing machine, spa equipment (foot massager), sowing machine, shoe-making machine, hairdressing dryer, barbing equipment (clipper with generator), grinding machine, provisions and soft drinks.