I welcome you all, very heartily, to another promising edition of the Ondo State Skills Acquisition and Empowerment Programme (OSSA-EP) – the second in the series. This is one very dear initiative to my heart because it gives me a clear and emphatic expression of my belief in women’s economic fortification
as a precondition for women’s emancipation.
As you all know, I am an unrepentant proponent of women’s economic security, and justifiably so.
Women have to be empowered for families and, by extension, communities to be empowered and stable. Making women economically secure is key to achieving stronger, happier, healthier, and more importantly, prouder womanhood. This very profound ideology explains, in the simplest terms, the essence of this intervention.
The first edition was an experiment that turned out very successful in spite of the fact that we had no ready and comprehensive template for its execution. However, the inspiring thing about the first edition is that its success was not so much in the programme execution but in the abilities of beneficiaries to translate the training received into economic advantage for themselves, families, and immediate communities. That, for me, must be the goal for us as government actors and beneficiaries.
And I want you to take this point very seriously as a new batch of trainees. It is not enough for the government to invest in you by way of training; you must make yourselves trainable by taking good advantage of the programme and be ready to excel with the right skill-set; you must develop the right mental attitude that is needed for entrepreneurial success as you acquire the skills, so that you begin to make mental plans as to how to gain a share of the market available for your skills, even right here in the camp.
It is important to remind ourselves that, as women, we are uniquely endowed with the strength to succeed; all we need to triumph is an opportunity like this and the right motivation. On our part as government, we are prepared to give you the wings that you need to fly economically through this illustrious programme.
Let me stress this fact: while all of you may not go out there and demonstrate the skills acquired after all, we are very much interested in beneficiaries that will not just acquire the skills but will frontally translate it to wealth for themselves and the larger community.
As you begin your training, knowing how religious Nigerians can be, I want you to approach it with the mindset of the scriptural parable regarding work in the context of investment. A rich man delegates the management of his wealth to hisservants, much as investors in today’s markets do. He gives five talents to the first servant, two talents to the second, and one talent to the third.
The first two servants earned 100 percent returns by trading with the funds, but the third servant hides the talent in the ground and earns nothing. The rich man returns, rewards the two who made money, but severely punishes the servant who did nothing.
The consequences of the parable extend far beyond beyond religious essence but also attract dire financial implications. Hence, as we instill in you a wide variety of skills, we expect you to translate them
to wealth. For us, it is not acceptable to merely acquire the skills and put them on the shelf. And we will be waiting to give you the right encouragement and to celebrate your wins with you. I thank you all for listening and I wish you the very best as I look forward to seeing you exhibit great skills at the closing ceremony.
See you then!