Governor Fashola, who spoke before a capacity audience of market women, artisans and other stakeholders on the economy of the state, said that the programme, which is absolutely free, was being expanded in response to increasing demands by residents who have realized its benefits.
The Governor explained that the essence of the expanded Empowerment Programme is for the benefit of versatility in vocations, and is for all residents irrespective of state of origin.
“We are not starting an empowerment programme”, Fashola said ”we are expanding what we are already doing; because you will hear from the women who have already spoken here that they were once housewives who stayed at home and waited for Daddy to go and come and when things are tough for Daddy, they were unable to do much to support.
“From what you have heard from them, I know one who has practiced four different vocations and she has now set up shops so she is able to support when things are tough and she will be able to add to it when things are better. So instead of just sitting down at home in a globally challenging economy, we have many more people, many more women, many more young people who are able to say too that ‘I am going to work’, he said.
He praised the fashion trend that has evolved among Nigerian women from skills of tie and dye, bead-making and designing of fabrics, adding that the products which, according to him, are making the Nigerian women truly look beautiful, is already representing the face of Nigerian and African fashion across the world.
Some of the beneficiaries who had participated in the empowerment programme gave testimony of the economic gains from the one-month skill acquisition and vocation programme across the state.
They testified to its being free with the Government providing the materials, the training personnel, booklets and handouts free of charge, adding that the skills acquired at the end of it has helped them to support their families economically.
Governor Fashola disclosed that the State Government would be providing the opportunity for 10,000 more people.