By Gboyega Akinsanmi
The Lagos State Government at the weekend said it recorded at least 1,480 cases of domestic violence between 2015 and 2017, noting that it would no longer tolerate the cases of domestic violence.
Lagos State Commissioner for Women and Poverty Alleviation (WAPA), Hon. Lola Akande, disclosed this during a news conference to commemorate the second year in office of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode.
At the conference she addressed alongside her Information & Strategy counterpart, Mr. Steve Ayorinde, Akande said domestic violence “ranges from rape, child abuse, sexual abuse, assaults, defilement, divorce and matrimonial issues.”
She added that a total number of 1480 domestic violence matters were reported in the last two years, noting that from 565 reported in 2015; 700 in 2016- and 215 recorded January and March 2017. 875 matters had been amicably resolved and follow up reviews conducted as well.
Of the figure, Akande said 480 matters “were counseled and referred to other agencies because their requests were not within the purview of the Ministry. Like legal, health issues, youth and social development such cases were followed up. 115 client’s matters were disengaged due to family interventions and 20 matters are still on-going.”
She explained the ministry had several training and empowerment programmes in the last two years, thereby placing the government on the path of reducing poverty to the barest minimum in the state.
Akande said the various empowerment programmes and poverty alleviation initiatives of the present administration have beneficiaries among youths, women, widows, physically challenged persons and several others.
She added that the present administration believes that if residents of the state are productively engaged and empowered in productive ventures, the dependence on government for the provision of some basic needs would reduce and on the long run increase self-esteem of the citizenry.
Akande said the massive investment in training and empowerment initiatives “is in line with the promise of Ambode-led administration to run an all-inclusive government, empower the populace and also improve the standard of living of Lagos residents.
“In recognition of the contribution of the Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation to the plight of Women in Nigeria, WAPA emerged Voice of Women (VOW) 2016 Best Government Organization/Agency Supporting Women and their Families at the 2016 VOW Awards organized by WFM 91.6 last year.”
Akande noted that the ministry “is also planning a mega empowerment programme this year adding that other agencies of government are also corroborating the efforts of the ministry through training, empowerment and offering of permanent employment opportunities
“All these put together would not only reduce domestic vices but will generally address restiveness and insecurity issues emanating from idleness across the state. A three-week training acquisition programme was also organized for 150 people living with HIV/AIDS, to give them a sense of belonging.
“WAPA also enhanced the well-being of over 40, 000 vulnerable women in collaboration with the Dangote Foundation, organised a four-week skill acquisition training programme for over 300 widows, trained over 3000 out-of- school girls and also empowered over 131 teenagers and women among other skills acquisition initiatives.”