500 beneficiaries of an empowerment training initiative – Lagos-CARES, a partnership initiative with the federal government’s NG-CARES programme have received Certificates of Competency and Cash Grants in 10 soft skills and practical training during a graduation ceremony held recently in Ikorodu, Lagos.
In her address at the event, the Commissioner for Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Cecilia Dada, stated that NG-Cares is a socio-economic intervention initiative targeted at vulnerable women and indigent persons in Lagos State to alleviate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on business owners, noting that the programme was designed to help in reinvigorating economy.
She added that the programme, which is a World Bank initiative, has produced trainees in 10 different vocations including decoration, tie & dye, catering and confectioneries.
“Others are gele tying and make-up application, ankara craft and leather works, Hairdressing and wig making, fabrics stoning, throw pillow and interior decorations, production of soap and pomade/healthy insecticide production, photography and petty trading among others”, she said.
The commissioner, who was represented at the event by the Director of the Lagos COVID-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus (CARES) programme, Mrs. Bolatito Funmileyi Jaji, averred that the empowerment of indigent residents in Lagos State will assist the government in achieving its food security plans, even as it hastens the recovery process of Medium and Small Scale Enterprises (MSEs) since the pandemic had ravaged most economies of the world.
She commended the federal government for initiating the empowerment programme, noting that NG-Cares training is currently being replicated in all 36 states of the federation, including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
Mrs. Dada acknowledged the readiness and resilience displayed by the trainees throughout the four-week programme, urging them to turn the knowledge and skills acquired into money-making ventures for themselves and their households.
The commissioner also expressed confidence in the ability of the Livelihood Support Team saddled with the responsibility of conducting a physical verification exercise for the final selection of beneficiaries on this project.
She revealed that beneficiaries of the livelihood grants have been selected from the Lagos State Social Register and Household Enterprises in the informal sector to make the process transparent and devoid of bias.
“The criteria for household members to receive grants include the ability and capability of individuals to be productive and agile, as well as engaged in some form of micro-enterprise. The approved grant size to be disbursed ranges from N20,000 to N200,000 based on the screening of micro-business plans submitted by the beneficiaries”, she stated.
Head of Delivery Platform DLi 1.3, Mrs. Oluwatoyin Salami, who was represented at the event by an Assistant Director in the ministry, Mrs. Abosede Omidoyin, urged the newly empowered indigent persons to ensure they verify their personal and account details for ease of payment by the government.
The high point of the ceremony was the presentation of Certificates of Competence to graduands.