The Lagos State Ministry of Wealth Creation and Employment, in collaboration with Mac89xperience, over the weekend organised the 6th Annual Fashion Exhibition and Model Parade Show, tagged “The WAVE Edition” as a way of supporting entrepreneurs and exposing their businesses to target markets.
Speaking at the event held at the Adeyemi-Bero Auditorium, Alausa, Ikeja, the Honourable Commissioner for Wealth Creation and Employment, Mrs. Yetunde Arobieke disclosed that the State government was not only committed to investing in the training and retraining of artisans and entrepreneurs but has also put in place machinery to monitor the successes of the graduates of its Empowerment programmes.
She said that the Ministry observed that the inability to bring fashion designers and potential customers together was one of the factors responsible for the low patronage of entrepreneurs by fashion designers, as such the Ministry decided to create a platform for interaction between the sellers and buyers.
Arobieke explained that the rationale behind the initiative was also to boost the businesses of graduates of its empowerment training, assuring that the State government will not just train them but will also monitor their progress to ensure that they succeed in their chosen vocations.
In her words, “The exhibition happening here today is a manifestation of the impactful investment of government on the unemployed youths in the State who have also become employers of labour. This is why it is imperative to continue to advocate learning of vocational skills by our youths, which is the way we can actually create jobs by building employers of labour”.
According to the Commissioner, the Ministry had at different times facilitated the disbursement of empowerment grants to desiring and deserving entrepreneurs who required funds to either start up their trades or expand the frontiers of their vocations under the Employment Trust Fund initiative of the State Government.
She specifically expressed delight that beneficiaries of the different training and empowerment programmes of the Ministry are prospering as entrepreneurs and are now willing to extend their exposure to other aspiring entrepreneurs.
The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Mrs. Boladele Dapo-Thomas, expressed her happiness to see many trainees of previous empowerment programmes become fashion designers and employers in their own right.
In her words, “So what more do we do for them, we need to expose them, we need to give them that market, believing that when we give them the market we will be enhancing their means of livelihood and survival”.
Dapo-Thomas maintained that the drive to further expose the skills of the designers informed the hosting of the fashion show, maintaining that unlike other vocations, fashion needs adequate exposure in order to attract the right patronage.
In his contribution, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Information and Strategy, Mr. Sina Thorpe restated the need for Nigerians to patronise made in Nigeria designs for the growth of the nation’s economy.
Recall that 50 unemployed youths were in 2018 trained under the Sustainable Development Programme of the Ministry which was implemented by Betti-O/ Ruff ’n’ Tumble. Participants of the 6th Annual Fashion Exhibition are beneficiaries of the programme who considered the initiative as their own way of giving back to the State Government as well as empowering other aspiring entrepreneurs.