The Lagos State Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation (WAPA) has moved to restore 2,145 vulnerable residents to business through its Lagos Cares Livelihood Support Delivery Platform DLI 1.3.
Mrs Oluyemi Kalesanwo, Permanent Secretary of WAPA, made the assertion at A Day Training for Skills Instructors on Nigeria COVID-19 Action Recovery Economic Stimulus Programme for Delivery Platform Implementation Officials held in Lagos on Thursday.
In her remarks, she said that the impact of COVID-19 on Medium and Small Enterprises (MSEs) was the brain behind the initiative.
The training took place at the Women Development Centre, Agege, Lagos.
According to Kalesanwo, the Nigeria COVID-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus Programme (NG-CARES) is a World Bank-Assisted Programme social intervention meant to support the 36 states of the Federation and FCT.
“It’s an initiative from the World Bank.
“What WAPA is doing is the DLI 1.3 programme which is meant to build on existing short-term skills that the ministry has been doing, whereby we train women in nine skills and empower them thereafter.
“It’s part of efforts to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the livelihoods of the poor and vulnerable households, maintaining food security and facilitating recovery of MSEs across the country.
“NG-CARES domesticated as Lagos Cares being an emergency Performance for Result (PforR) programme using our existing platform of some of the Livelihood support programmes of Ministry of WAPA.
“The delivery unit cascaded into the Lagos Livelihood Support Platform which basically focus on identifying the poverty gaps to the poor and vulnerable in the State created by the effect of COVID-19 pandemic.
“The objective of the livelihood grant component of Results Area Dli1.3 is also to provide short livelihoods and soft skills training and one-off payments to economically active and self-employed youth and women in Lagos state,” she said.
The WAPA Permanent Secretary noted that the beneficiaries were selected from the State Social Register drawn across communities and LGAs.
“Beneficiaries might have ideas on the skills but this opportunity will help to broaden their horizon and we’ll empower them”.
She, however, said that intending beneficiaries were expected to put in their best during training, be attentive in class, make best use of new knowledge acquired and use grants for the purpose they were meant for.
Speaking, Mr Basit Baruwa, a member of State Care Publicity Unit, described the programme as a good step in the right direction, moving toward a proper result getting area of the initiative.
Baruwa charged the instructors to administer livelihood training/support to the 2,145 beneficiaries as they would be assessed through the number beneficiaries trained under them and the impacts.
“This programme is all for free; nobody paid a dime to anybody and it is only when we see the effect of the training on beneficiaries that we’ll empower them, and endorse the instructors that they have delivered,” he added.
Also, Mrs Oluwatoyin Salami, Head, Livelihood Delivery Platform, expressed that monitoring and evaluation were very key in the programme, hence instructors and beneficiaries must live up to expectations.
Salami said people would be trained in their respective Local Government Areas (LGAs) while stipends would be given to beneficiaries daily for transportation as part of encouragement for participation.
According to her, it’s not just about a one off soft skill training or grants to beneficiaries but to ensure that at the end, they channel the amount given accordingly to boost their businesses.
She noted that no fewer than 300 participants verified and validated for the three weeks/one month free training programme from Ifako-Ijaiye/ Ikeja, profiled by Ministry of Economic Planning, adding that they would have same for Ikorodu, Epe and Badagry
“There will be thorough monitoring from the State, Federal Government and even from the World Bank, so whoever that is found wanting in any way will be sanctioned.
“They must improve, do addition to that business and prove that of a truth, government has really supported them effectively, we have field base and local government officers as monitors.
“These officers will be going round to monitor the lifespan of the project and get across to the beneficiaries asking them questions on purchases made and geanuity of businesses,” she said.
Salami disclosed that there were 10 Dli, explaining that “this is one out of it, and it captures Persons living with Disabilities, youths and farmers.
“Above all, it’s not a gender biased programme but for all,” she said.