Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Tuesday empowered 2,000 artisans and tradesmen and women as a way of creating an enabling environment for businesses to thrive and ensure participatory democracy in the state.
Sanwo-Olu, who also gave a parcel of land at Badagry for the artisans to build their secretariat said that the future lies with entrepreneurship, adding that was the reason why small businesses need empowerment.
Some of the associations of artisans who benefitted from the empowerment programme are welders and electrical repairs, carpenters & furniture makers, aluminum fabricators, tailors & fashion designs, house painting among others.
The tradesmen and artisans had undergone eight weeks training and thereafter given certificates together with working tools at Alausa, Ikeja.
The programme which was the twelfth in the series was themed: ‘Technology and Innovation: Bedrock of Development of Tradesmen and Artisans.’
In his keynote address, Sanwo-Olu said: ‘’That technology and innovation are the bedrock of economic development across the world is not in doubt.
“The transition of human societies from the agricultural age to the Industrial Age to the Digital Age has been underlined by waves of innovation that emerge to disrupt an established and accepted order and replace it with a new way of seeing and doing things.
‘’The Internet and digital technologies have now come along to hasten the pace of transition and transformation, and to entrench the power of innovation even further in our societies.
“Nobody can afford to ignore the rapid pace of change in the 21st century. Anyone who does is bound to pay a very heavy price for this. The lesson for our artisans in Lagos State therefore is that you cannot afford to be left behind.
‘’Whether you’re a cobbler, plumber, mechanic, fashion-designer, make-up artist, whatever you might be, you must start to think out of the box, not just in the work that you produce but also in how you brand and market that product, and how you position yourself within your sector.”
According to Sanwo-Olu the program was developed to equip you with the necessary skills to become 21st century artisans, and it is in alignment with a key component of his T.H.E.M.E.S Agenda, which is making Lagos a 21st century.
In her welcome address, the Commissioner for Wealth Creation & Employment, Mrs Yetunde Arobieke said, in line with the theme of this year’s celebration, the graduating tradesmen and artisans having gone through an intensive technologically driven training programme for eight weeks and have been tasked to make a success of their businesses through innovation and promote the economic development of the state.