Four hundred and sixty women drawn from the 25 local government areas of Delta State who had completed their training under the Women Empowerment and Skills Acquisition Programme (WESAP) were, today, presented with starter packs in their respective areas of vocation by the state government.
Speaking at the ceremony held at the event centre in Asaba, the state governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa who congratulated beneficiaries of the programme, urged them to leverage on the opportunity provided for them by the state government to enhance their socio-economic lives.
Governor Okowa enjoined them to use the knowledge and skills that they acquired during their training to positively impact the lives of other Deltans, adding that the best way they could say thank you to the state government or thank God was to become an inspiring source of blessing to the society.
According to him, for them to become the inspirational source of blessing to society, first, they need to succeed and secondly, they need to take their success story further by ensuring that those around them also, succeeded.
He disclosed that it was not easy to just start a business venture and make it immediately in one day, two days, one month, or two months, pointing out that they should realise that businesses grow gradually.
The governor maintained that growing a business requires a gradual process which, according to him, also required a lot of effort and diligence, adding that they should be focused on what they do and be connected with the right people.
“As I congratulate you all, I want also to let you know that we are in a challenging time because of the COVID-19 pandemic which is going through a second wave now across the world, Nigeria is not excluded, the economy is challenging and that means it becomes tougher to be able to succeed in the economy of today.
“But I do know and believe that with the enthusiasm that I see in you and what I did see on the day of inauguration before the training started that you people are passionate and you are committed to succeeding.
“A passionate heart will never fail in whatever it seeks to do as long as you also connect to the Lord, our God because you need the grace of God to succeed but that passion from the inside is very important for us to succeed.
“It is my prayer that God will bless your businesses and God will bless your homes because if your business is blessed and your home is not blessed, the money that you made may be siphoned into unnecessary things.
“But we must realise that we must grow gradually. It is not easy to just start and make it immediately in one day, two days, one month, or two months. It is a gradual process that requires a lot of effort, it requires us to be focused on what we do; it requires us to connect with the people and it requires us also, to be diligent in all that we do.
“The best way you can say thank you to the state government or thank you Lord is to become a blessing to the society and for you to become a blessing to the society first, you need to succeed and secondly, you need to take your success story further by ensuring that those around you also succeed.
“So, I look forward to many of you in the next few months and years, begin to engage other Deltans to teach them that which you had already known, and as you begin to positively impact on the lives of other Deltans, you truly will be appreciating God for what has been for you today,” he added.
While saying that his administration believed in the empowerment of women because of its conviction that when a woman is empowered, the family is empowered, Senator Okowa disclosed that studies have shown that the more women are empowered, the more successful the families would become, even as he said that more women would be empowered in the remaining years of his administration.
“We believe in the empowerment of women because we are confident that when a woman is empowered, the family is empowered because no woman will like to see her children or husband hungry and once a woman has cash in her pocket, she will never allow her children to go hungry neither will she allow her husband to go hungry.
“Studies have shown that the more women are empowered, the more successful the families are and because of that, we shall remain committed to empowering more and more women in the next few years that we have left in our administration. That is why we are working through multiple points to empower both women and girls,” the governor said.
In her remarks, the wife of the governor, Dame Edith Okowa, who expressed appreciation to God for the success of the programme, urged the 460 beneficiaries of WESAP to use the starter packs given to them by the state government to enhance their economic fortunes and that of their respective families, adding that they should also train other Deltans to enable them to benefit from their vocational knowledge.
Earlier in her welcome address, the Commissioner for Women Affairs, Community and Social Development, Mrs. Flora Alatan thanked Governor Okowa for his inspiring commitment towards issues relating to women empowerment in the state, adding that the starter packs given to the beneficiaries were enabling tools that would extricate them from poverty.
In an interview with journalists during the ceremony, some of the beneficiaries of the state government training programme expressed profound appreciation to the state government for equipping them with the necessary tools needed to create wealth for themselves and generate employment for others.
The highlight of the ceremony which was attended by top government functionaries was the presentation of starter packs to some of the beneficiaries by the wife of the state governor, Dame Edith Okowa.