By: Joy Odor/Abuja
The First Lady of Lagos State, Her Excellency, Dr. Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu, has expressed the readiness to empower Nigerian Air Force (NAF) Personnel’s Wives with vocational skills that fulfil their aspirations, improve their socio-economic wellbeing and enable them become self-reliant.
Represented by the Director, LASG Pension Commission, Mrs. Folashade Onanuga, the First Lady said this is through collaborating with the Nigerian Air Force Officers’ Wives Association (NAFOWA) through the State Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation to strengthen NAFOWA.
She made the commitment on the 6th July 2019, at NAF Officers’ Mess Gymnasium Ikeja Lagos State during the Lecture/Flag-Off Ceremony of NAFOWA Logistics Command (LC) Chapter Empowerment Programme with the theme “Woman You Can”.
Dr Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu noted that the theme was pertinent at a time that women face a lot of challenges ranging from gender inequality through emotional and physical abuse to the stress of having to face incredible pressure arising from the need to juggle work and family responsibilities.
The LASG Governor’s Wife, congratulated NAFOWA for taking a lead role in addressing issues that are crucial to the advancement of the cause of women in the 21st Century with the empowerment programme.
Mrs. Sanwo-Olu said NAFOWA’s initiative in empowering women was in line with LASG’s drive to affect society positively by empowering women to contribute to the development of the country.
She said women today have resolved not to be shoved aside from such roles and it becomes imperative to empower them with vocational skills that will sustain them, particularly when the society is witnessing a dearth of employment for people who are graduates.
In her speech, the NAFOWA National President, Hajiya Hafsat Abubakar, represented by Mrs Sheila Lar stated that the Association, in its drive to equip women with knowledge and vocational skills, regularly conducts workshops, seminars and retreats where women who have made tremendous impacts in Nigerian society are invited to inspire, motivate and spur personnel’s wives and families to be better versions of themselves.
Hajiya Abubakar said over the years, NAFOWA has engaged in variety of humanitarian activities across the country which range from visits and donations of food and clothing items to Internally Displaced Person (IDP) Camps, donation of medical items to hospitals as well as skills acquisition programmes across the six geo-political zones.
She stressed that the Association has so far trained and provided starter packs to over 2,000 women and youth while charging the women present at the event to make the best of the empowerment programme to enable them become financially independent as their husbands constantly migrate across the country to defend the nation.
Earlier in her welcome address, the Chairperson NAFOWA Lagos State Chapter, Mrs Nofisat Olayinka, said the training programme was initiated in line with NAFOWA’s mission to impart knowledge about various aspects of life to widen the consciousness of personnel’s wives and give them autonomy over their career, education and mental health.
She said resource persons of the NAFOWA Vocational Training Centre at Sam Ethnan Air Force Base (SAEB) Ikeja-Lagos were mobilized for the training programme while stating that the beneficiaries will be equipped with the starter kits they need to establish small scale businesses upon completion of the training programme.
Catering and pastry making, fashion and textile furnishing design, cosmetology, soap making techniques were some of the vocational skills lined-up for the one-week empowerment programme.