Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu administration yesterday empowered another set of 2,000 indigent Lagosians, to create a platform for financial empowerment for them.
This is in continuation of the fulfilment of his government’s THEMES agenda.
Speaking at the event held at Adeyemi Bero Auditorium, Alausa, Ikeja, the Special Adviser, Office of Civic Engagement, Princess Aderemi Adebowale, said the second phase of Eko Cares, formerly called Sanwo-Olu Cares, was a social intervention programme of the Lagos State Government designed by the Office of Civic Engagement as a palliative measure for the vulnerable, less privileged and lower echelon of the Lagos society.
“The initiative aims to create a platform for financial empowerment of the poorest of the poor in the state, thus enhancing socio-economic inclusion and cohesion,” Adebowale said.
She recalled that Eko Cares was launched last December by Governor Sanwo-Olu as a means of supporting indigent Lagosians, the poorest of the poor who could hardly sustain themselves.
“The programme is aimed at catering for the masses, especially the poorest of the poor.”
You will agree with me that besides improving the sources of livelihood of the beneficiaries, the initiative will enhance the state’s achievement of sustainable development goals of ‘No poverty (Goal 1), Zero hunger (Goal 2), Decent Work and Economic Growth (Goal 8) and Reduced Inequalities (Goal 9)’, but to mention a few,” Adebowale said.
She said the theme of this year’s empowerment programme was: “Go forward, Grow Lagos”, adding that beneficiaries were selected across the 20 local governments and 37 local council development areas.
The governor’s aide noted that this year’s phase was enriched with the micro-business components wherein instead of direct cash payments as was in the first phase, participants received products worth N10,000 directly from partnering FMCG companies at below factory prices, which would allow them to start trading in their neighborhood at a competitive advantage, thereby maximising profit.
Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives Commissioner Lola Akande said it was an understatement that many people needed financial assistance to solve challenges ranging from chronic ailments to accidents, diverse degrees of disasters, loss of jobs occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic, among others.
She urged the beneficiaries to make the best use of the opportunity, adding that they should be innovative and dynamic.
Highlights of the event included distribution of N10,000 worth of products to traders, training of traders in book keeping and financial accounting, among others.