Wife of the Ekiti State Governor, Mrs Bisi Fayemi has lauded the leadership of the Defence and Police Officers’ Wives Association (DEPOWA) for empowering over 300 unemployed women and youths in the state with diverse vocational skills, thereby supporting government’s job creation and poverty alleviation initiative.
The Empowerment Programme was in continuation of DEPOWA’s quest in providing gainful employment opportunities to women and youths through vocational skill acquisition.
Speaking at the graduation ceremony of the trainees, the Ekiti State First Lady, represented by wife of the Speaker of the Ekiti State House of Assembly, Mrs Titilayo Afuye as the Special Guest of Honour, noted that DEPOWA’s initiative to train and empower women and youths in Ekiti will encourage the beneficiaries to become financially independent and self reliant.
Congratulating the graduands, Mrs Fayemi urged them to think outside the box in effectively utilizing their newly acquired skills and starter packs. She also implored the unemployed to build capacity by acquiring vocational skills to enhance self employment in the face of scarce white-collar jobs.
The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Gabriel Abayomi Olonisakin, who was represented by the Director Civil Military Cooperation, Defence Headquarters, Air Vice Marshal Abdullahi Kassimu, saluted the leadership of DEPOWA for empowering the graduands. He described the scheme as DEPOWA’s efforts to complement the civil – military relations engagements of the Armed Forces of Nigeria in wining the hearts and minds of the public. He added, that DEPOWA’s humanitarian intervention and empowerment programmes across the nation has added impetus to civil-military relations.
The DEPOWA President, Dr Omobolanle Olonisakin in her welcome address, stated that the empowerment initiative was to imbue the beneficiaries with requisite entrepreneural skills to enable them contribute meaningfully to the economic prosperity of their communities and state towards enhancing national development. In her words, “this programme aims at making the beneficiaries economically self dependent, in order to elicit productive attitude that will bring about the desired positive change to their communities, state and the nation”.
She urged the graduands to be agents of change by creating jobs for the teeming unemployed population to alleviate poverty and improve the standard of living. Mrs Olonisakin felicitated with the graduands for the successful completion of the training and enjoined them to use the acquired knowledge and the starter packs provided by DEPOWA to expeditiously setup their individual enterprises, pointing out that follow-up evaluation will be conducted on the beneficiaries to appraise their level of compliance in the usage of the starter packs and the progress of their enterprises.
During the event, Mrs Olonisakin also led the DEPOWA members to distribute food and other items to over 150 elderly widows in the surrounding communities. Other dignitaries at the event were the representative of the Chairman of Gboyin Local Government Area, Hon Omichiyi Oluremi, the Oloode of Ode, His Royal Majesty, Oba Adara Adereye, the Commander 32 Artillery Brigade, Brigadier General Zakari Abubakar, DEPOWA Coordinators, Executives and members.
Highpoint of the occasion was the presentation of starter packs and certificates to the graduands on the successful completion of two weeks of intensive training in Beads Stringing, Bag Fabrication, Barbing, Grinding Machine Operation, Cosmetics and Toiletries Production, Facial Make-Up and Gele Tying, Fabric Tie and Tiles Installation.
Acting Director Defence Information