The Lagos State Employment Trust Fund, LSETF, in collaboration with Coca-Cola Nigeria Limited and its bottling partner, Nigeria Bottling Company Limited (NBC), has empowered no fewer than 300 women via the women empowerment initiative.
The beneficiaries are the first batch of the 1000 women targeted for the initiative. They were provided with trade assets including coolers, tables, umbrellas and Coca-Cola beverage products, having completed their training modules on financial literacy and business skills.
Speaking at the graduation ceremony, the Executive Secretary, LSETF, Mr Akintunde Oyebode, stated that the initiative was in line with the vision of the state government to create jobs, wealth opportunities and alleviate poverty among residents in the state.
He commended the women for their tenacity and determination to improve their lots economically and urged them to judiciously put into use all the skills acquired as well as the resources mobilised for them.
While appreciating efforts of the corporate partners, Oyebode stated that such collaborations would help to reduce social problems and address the alarming rate of unemployment in Lagos State. He also called on other private sector partners to join LSETF to create jobs in the state.
In his remarks, Managing Director of Coca-Cola Nigeria Limited, Mr Bhupendra Suri, noted that the initiative aligned with the firm’s 5by20 programme to enable the economic empowerment of five million women entrepreneurs across its value chain by 2020.
Represented by Public Affairs & Communications Manager, Ms Nwamaka Onyemelukwe, She said: “We are as prosperous as the communities in which we operate. We believe any investment in them, particularly women would trigger not only economic growth but foster sustainable development.
“As you are aware, women are pillars of the communities we serve and pillars of our business. We are convinced that they will play a significant role in shaping Nigeria’s economy over the next decade. So, empowering them through this initiative would go a long way to address poverty and unemployment in the state.”
Public Affairs and Communication Director, NBC Limited, Ekuma Eze, restated the company’s commitment to women empowerment, adding that the company would continue to support efforts that enhance economic growth.
He said: “We truly believe supporting women is a key driver to economic development. This explains why we bought into this idea to ensure that while they are empowered, we can begin to see the multiplier effect on the economy.”