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By Omolara Ogunwale
Cecilia Bolaji-Dada, commissioner of Women Affairs & Poverty Alleviation (WAPA), has urged women to leverage on networks that can support learning and improve their businesses with a view of breaking the business culture which is largely dominated by men.
Bolaji-Dada gave the advice while speaking at a one day training for women and girls organized by the Lagos State Ministry of Women Affairs & Poverty Alleviation (WAPA), in conjunction with Women Development Centre (WDC), Agege.
The commissioner urged the women to leverage on resources, such as knowledge, business advice and mentorship to boost their businesses.
“The state government put a programme of this kind together to address crucial challenges affecting women in their daily business as it is believed that women’s economic empowerment is a pillar of sustainable development and poverty alleviation that ensure financial independence for youths and women”, she added.
Speaking on empowerment scheme the ministry has made available for business starters, “we have 17 training centre in Lagos State across the 5 divisions but not in all local government. We offer courses like Photography, Catering, Cosmetology, Fashion among others, the long term training gives students start up kits after their programme, we usually have a larger empowerment program where we give equipment to start up and also we direct people to Lagos State Employment Trust Fund in other to get funds for their businesses”, she said.
Director of Women Development Centre, Adeola Adepoju while giving her welcome address appreciated the Governor and Commissioner WAPA for their supports towards uplifting the lives of women. She also charged women to build a gender balance world.
Our target is small scale business, we want to share their challenges and proffer solutions. I expect every woman to be able to stand on their own, a woman folk that will break free from the shackles of poverty; when you train a woman you’ve trained a Nation, women don’t wait for their husbands before feeding their children, it is a collaboration now. Dignified women folks is what we are looking at”, she added.
For her part, chairperson, Nigeria Association of Women Journalists, (NAWOJ), Lagos Chapter; Adeola Ekine urged women to desist from being their own enemies, as it is mostly believed adding that, “we must pull ourselves up, embrace and stand for another, be outspoken, distinguish and distinct ourselves wherever we may be”. The seminar with the theme : “Modern Day Small Scale Business, Challenges and Way Forward”, which had in attendance women from different clusters, enlightened the audience about pioneering a successful business.