In fulfilment of his pledge to end poverty through the implementation of socio-economic empowerment programs, Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Tuesday empowered a total of 1,050 vulnerable and indigent residents in the state.
The Governor, who promised to uplift the living standards of the citizens at the inception of his administration kept part of the promise through the Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation.
The government achieved the feat by working with various associations across the State, who in turn reached out to the beneficiaries.
The event, which held at De Blue Roof in Lagos Television Complex, Ikeja, marked a turning point for thousands of residents who could not hide their admiration for Governor Sanwo-Olu and his administration.
The Governor noted that the programme is in line with the foundational ideology of his political party, the All Progressives Congress, adding that it is an attempt to boost the economy of the most vulnerable in the society.
According to him: “One of the key functions of government is to bring the greatest good to the greatest number of the people. Living in poverty, or on the edge of poverty, is akin to being submerged in water, struggling to stay afloat. Poverty alleviation seeks to ensure that every person in the water is helped out, onto a boat, where they can then get a chance to take charge of their lives and their journeys henceforth.
“What we are doing here today therefore is lending a hand, to pull the most vulnerable people among us out of the water, in line with our campaign promises and the manifesto of our great party, the All Progressives Congress.
“It is therefore in line with this foundational ideology that, today, over 1,050 Lagosians made up of vulnerable women, indigent residents, as well as graduates of skill acquisition centres will be receiving requisite support to lift them out of poverty and set them firmly on the journey to financial/economic independence.”
The Governor stated that women empowerment shall remain a top priority of his administration, adding that any society that neglects the full potentials of its female population is guilty of short-changing itself.
The Governor said that no part of Lagos was left out as the Mega Empowerment programme covers all the 20 Local Government Areas (LGAs) and 37 Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs) in the State.
He further stated that the programme would be done on a quarterly basis.
Beneficiaries received, in addition to financial support, business support tools and equipment such as grinding machines, hair dressing tools, sewing machines, tyre repair kits, among other materials.
Speaking earlier, the Commissioner for Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Mrs. Cecilia Dada, explained that women form the backbone of economy in Lagos State and the current administration is ready to place women where they belong.
She said: “It is an established fact that the economic activities of the women often times constitute the back bone of our economy. Studies have shown that increasing women’s economic opportunities is the key to poverty reduction and economic growth. Lagos firmly believes that women’s economic empowerment is a crucial pillar of sustainable development and poverty alleviation.
Vulnerable women, indigent residents, unemployed graduates of Skill Acquisition Centers, artisans that cannot set themselves up and religious groups were part of the beneficiaries of this empowerment.
Other dignitaries that graced the occasion include the Deputy Governor, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, members of the State Executive Council and other top functionaries in State.