As part of efforts to continually improve the quality of artisans in the State for global competitiveness, the Ministry of Wealth Creation and Employment, on Thursday, celebrated the Y2020 Tradesmen and Artisans day with a graduation ceremony for 500 upskilled artisans.
At a brief ceremony held at Blue Roof, LTV 8, Ikeja, the Commissioner for Wealth Creation and Employment, Mrs. Yetunde Arobieke, charged the graduands to be alive to their civic responsibility as productive citizens of the State, adding that the upskilling of practising artisans is the demonstration of the government’s desire to ensure that they adapt to the rapidly changing dynamics in their chosen vocations.
“This upskilling programme is to equip you towards becoming the 21st Century artisans in line with the present administration’s T.H.E.M.E.S Agenda. It gives me a deep sense of satisfaction to see you graduate today; this shows our commitment to ensuring that the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises sector of our State’s economy grows and flourishes beyond limit”, Arobieke noted.
The Commissioner noted that the theme of Y2020 celebration – “Building a Vibrant Informal Sector for Sustainable Economic Growth” – revealed the focus of government to grow small and medium scale businesses, urging the graduates to be dedicated and disciplined at all times.
While advising the participants to have a positive mindset as they contribute their quota to making Lagos economically viable, Arobieke said that after undergoing eight weeks intensive training, graduands are expected to attain financial independence as well as improved socio-economic wellbeing.
Arobieke explained that the informal sector contributes a large chunk to the GDP of the State, hence, Lagos Artisans need to be up and doing as they are vital to the T.H.E.M.E.S development Agenda of the State.
“The informal sector is the engine that drives the economy, it therefore becomes expedient for the artisans to work towards the realisation of a common purpose, which is to build a vibrant sector for sustainable growth with a view to making Lagos a 21st Century Economy”.
The Commissioner announced that Governor Sanwo-Olu has approved the upskilling of additional 2000 tradesman before the year runs out, while three hectares of land at Ganyingbo in Badagry has been secured by the State Government for the building of the Lagos State Council of Tradesman and Artisans (LACOSTA) Secretariat.
She also solicited for the cooperation of all stakeholders in evolving ideas and strategies for sustainable policies to grow the sector, acknowledging and appreciating the support of critical stakeholders over time.
Chairman of the Lagos State Assembly House Committee on Wealth Creation and Employment, Mr. Jude Idimogu, congratulated the graduands for completing the programme, noting that skillful people are in high demand, therefore, ample opportunities for them to excel.
He enjoined the graduands to make good use of the opportunities available to them and advised Lagosians to key into the various entrepreneurship programmes.
The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Mrs. Boladele Dapo-Thomas said the tradesmen and artisans day was set aside annually by the Ministry to celebrate skilled and vocational workers in the State as a recognition of their vital role in the pyramid of socio-economic development, which is critical to achieving sustainable growth and overall prosperity of the citizenry.
She explained that the upskilling of artisans is to enhance productivity in order to create wealth, stating that the graduands have been trained in several areas including Catering and Event Decoration, Tie and Dye Technology, Fashion and Footwear designing, hairdressing and cosmetology etc.
Dapo-Thomas, therefore, urged the graduands to leverage the endless prospects that the State has to offer as the fastest growing economy in Africa.
Speaking on behalf of the graduands, Mrs. Anosike Josephine, the best graduating student in Catering and Event Decoration, thanked the Lagos State Government for the opportunity to upgrade their skills, while promising that they will put into good use the new skills acquired.