By Florence Onuegbu
The Lagos State Government has advised 6,252 graduating students from its 18 Skill Acquisition Centres to use the skills acquired to create opportunities for self employment.
Speaking at the Year 2019 Graduation Ceremony on Wednesday, Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu urged youths and women in the state to engage themselves in vocational skills.
Sanwo-Olu said that this would ensure they were employers of labour rather than depending solely on government and private organisations for job opportunities.
The governor also advised them to be persistent, persevere, focused and not to give up on their dreams.
He advised them to take advantage of the free online business registration channel provided by the Federal Government for the first 250,000 small and medium scale enterprises.
Sanwo-Olu urged them to use technology, especially their data, to add value to their lives and not for things that would not contribute positively to their growth and development in life.
He said that government could not provide job opportunities for everyone based on the large population of people in the state.
According to him, what government is meant to do is to create an ambiance for people to be employers of labour and be the real growth and real change to create businesses and opportunities for themselves, families and others.
Sanwo-Olu, who disclosed that he was a plumber about 30 years ago, said the granduants were on the right path and encouraged them to be determined to achieve desired success in their respective skills to be successful CEOs in the future.
He urged the 6,252 graduating students to do all they could to make learning a life-long venture by constantly seeking ways to improve their skills and grow their businesses.
The governor assured them of government’s support for them to achieve success in their various vocations.
According to him, the state government has resources to help them accelerate their growth, like the newly inaugurated Eko MSMEs Fashion Hub and the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund.
The governor implored the graduating students, especially those in fashion design line, to take advantage of the opportunity of the Fashion hub in Ikeja to enhance their works.
He said that his administration was committed to building and opening more fashion hubs at Obalende, Somolu and Oshodi within the next six months, as part of the administration’s support for MSMEs in the state.
Speaking at the event, the governor’s wife, Mrs Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu, said that the incumbent administration was committed to empowerment and skills acquisitions for Lagosians, especially those who were interested in vocational training.
Represented by the wife of the Deputy Governor, Mrs Oluremi Hamat, Sanwo-Olu advised the graduating students to be prayerful, hard working and distinguish themselves in their respective businesses by being the best in their vocations.
She also charged them to add value to others by being employers of labour, toward reducing unemployment in the state, hence, taking Lagos to a ‘Greater Height’, in line with the T.H.E.M.E.S agenda of the Babajide Sanwo-Olu administration.
The Commissioner for Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation (WAPA), Mrs Cecilia Bolaji Dada, commended Sanwo-Olu for the unflinching support given to the ministry and making the Skill Acquisition Centres tuition free.
Dada also appreciated the governor’s wife for the support WAPA had enjoyed from her office and her continuous support to the ministry and promoting the cause of women in Lagos State.
”Women and Youths Empowerment has been a front burner issue for this present leadership of the Lagos State Government, having identified that the challenges posed by poverty among women and youths can only be resolved through projects, programme and skills acquisition.
”The Lagos State Government, under the leadership of Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu held nothing back in providing veritable platforms upon which multifarious vocation training programme can be obtained on a tuition-free basis for women and the indigents of the society.” she said.
The commissioner congratulated the graduating students and urged them to go into the world of business with great hope and full of courage.
The 6,252 grandaunts were trained in 15 different skills, which are; Hairdressing and Cosmetology, Catering and Hotel Management, Computer training and Barbing.
Others include Textile Design, Hat Making and Bead Stringing, Shoe Making/Leather Works, Fashion Design and Dress Making.
Also Welding Fabrication, Vulcanising/Wheel Balancing and Alignment, Refrigerator and AC Maintenance/Repairs, Aluminum Fabrication, Screen/Transfer Printing Technology, Tile Laying/Pave Lock Making, and Carpentry.
The Chairman of the Lagos State House of Assembly Committee on Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Mojisola Alli-Macaulay, expressed the commitment of the administration to not just job creation but also women empowerment though skills acquisition.
Alli-Macaulay said that the government was ever ready to meet the needs of women in the