From AMEDU JOSEPH, Lokoja
NO fewer than 400 women and youths across the three senatorial districts of Kogi state have benefited from the STEP UP skills acquisition programme in basic sewing and soft furniture put in place by the wife of the Vice-president, Mrs Dolapo Osinbajo.
The Wife of Kogi state Governor, Mrs. Rashida Bello while speaking at the graduation ceremony of the trainees in Lokoja yesterday, advised the beneficiaries of the programme to take full advantage of the skills acquired during the training to chart a new course for themselves and add value to the society.
Mrs Rashida Bello who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Dr.(Mrs.) Folashade Ayoade Arike disclosed that the STEP Up Skills Acquisition Programme is an initiative of the wife of the Vice President, Mrs. Dolapo Osinbajo.
According to her, the skills garnered during the training programme if properly utilized would go a long way in making them self-reliant and be employers of labour, noting that they are expected to train others in order to reduce unemployment in the state.
The importance of Entrepreneurial skills development she said cannot be over emphasized because vocational and technical trainings prepares one for productivity with individuals can be reliant.
She commended the initiator of the programme, Mrs Dolapo Osinbajo for her contribution to the growth of the nation by empowering women and youths, especially the less privileged in the society.
Mrs Bello noted that Kogi people are happy to be part of her humane gesture, saying that she has written her name in gold in the history of the state.
In her speech, the representative of Wife of the Vice President, Miss Joanna Boma Osigwe called on the beneficiaries of the skill acquisition programme to make use of the skills acquired to improve their living condition and contribute their quota to the development of the society.
The skills acquisition programme she said was targeted at the school dropouts to make them self- reliant and reduce unemployment in the country, adding that the programme was aimed at complementing the APC social intervention scheme to reduce poverty and unemployment amongst women and youths in the society.
She stated that gainful employment was not limited to wage paying jobs alone, as skills acquired could also guarantee regular income, stressing that being empowered with a good skill was capable of transforming their lives.
Highlight of the occasion was the inspection of the exhibition of the clothing materials made available for the trainees by the State Deputy Governor, Chief Edward David Onoja.
Other dignitaries at the ocassion were the Deputy Chief of staff Mr. Sunday Faleke, the Commissioners of Women Affairs and Social Development, Mrs. Fatima Buba, l Education, Science and technology, Mr. Wemi Jones, Environment and Natural Resources, Mr. Adewale Omofaiye, Head of Service, Elder(Mrs.) Deborah Ogunmola, Wives of Local Government Administrators and other appointees. fewer than 400 women and youths benefitted from the skill acquisition training programme and were trained in basic sewing and soft furniture.