By Maria Famakinwa
The First Lady of Ondo State, Arabinrin Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu has described women’s economic security as an inevitable key to achieving stronger, happier and prouder womanhood.
She made this known at Ile-Oluji Local Government Secretariat during the graduation and closing ceremony of the second edition of the State Skills Acquisition and Empowerment Programme (OSSA-EP), where beneficiaries were presented with certificates and start-up kits.
The participants who were selected from the Southern Senatorial District of the state were trained in different skills such as decoration, makeover and gele, wig making, tye and dye, bag making, bead making, fashion designing, baking, soap making among others.
Mrs Akeredolu who disclosed that the vision of OSSA-EP is to empower women economically which by extension will uplift families and communities and make them stable and financially secure, added that women must be economically fortified to evolve.
“It is my belief that women have to be economically fortified for the womenfolk to evolve.
“Since you have survived the training here, you can succeed with your skills out there. Let no one or circumstances put doubts in your mind. I have come to tell you that entrepreneurial breakthrough is not beyond your reach. Your goal therefore as beneficiaries must be to translate the skills acquired to visible economic advantage for yourselves, families and communities.”
Earlier, Chairman of the occasion and Commissioner for Finance, Mr Wale Akinterinwa, who was represented by the Senior Special Adviser to Ondo State Governor on Finance, Mr Ebenezer Adekusibe commended the laudable initiative of Mrs Akeredolu to empower women financially through her various projects.
Akinterinwa who stated that OSSA-EP is a dawn of positive change for women in the State, urged beneficiaries to be courageous enough and strive to be successful in the skills acquired.
In his goodwill message, Oba Julius Olufaderin Adetimehin, Jegun of Ile-Oluji appreciated the First Lady for her passion for women in the State and described OSSA-EP as a practical demonstration of dividend of democracy which is unique.
The monarch appealed to the beneficiaries not to sell the equipment given to them but to make good use of it in order to transform their lives and that of their families.
The Senior Special Assistant to the State Governor on Gender and Documentation, who also coordinated the programme, Mrs Temitope Daniyan, thanked Mrs. Akeredolu for her love for women in the State which she said cannot be quantified.
She advised beneficiaries to make the First Lady proud and see the empowerment programme as a rare opportunity needed to effect positive changes in their lives, as she assured them that monitoring teams were in place to do follow-up as they progress in the skills acquired.