NITDA anchors Enugu 5-day training for PLWDs on ICT opportunity for disability-inclusive development

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The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) is this Friday rounding up a 5-day training programme for People Living with Disabilities (PLWDs) holding in Enugu State Technology Hub and Youth Innovation Centre, Enugu state.

The training programme with the theme:‘Training in IT and Entrepreneurship’, is anchored on provisioning digital skills for PLWDs as part of the agency’s goal for ICT opportunity disability-inclusive development.

Programme to empower PLWD through IT entrepreneurship

“The objective of the training is to build capacities of people living with disabilities, make them employable and self-reliant in order to have effective economic independence in pursing their livelihoods,” said Director General, NITDA, Mallam Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi.

He expressed faith that the training will boost all the participants’ digital literacy and proficiency so as to resourcefully participate in the digital economy and tech-entrepreneur ecosystem.

An initiative of the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy being implemented by the NITDA, the programme is designed to empower PLWD through IT entrepreneurship, policies and solutions to enable them live productively with a sense of inclusion in the IT ecosystem and the country at large.

Over one billion persons living with disabilities

According to the United Nations, more than one billion persons are living with disabilities and 80% of them are in developing nations. The UN believes a sound global development agenda cannot ignore disabilities, a key driver of exclusion and poverty.

At the High-Level Meeting on Disability and Development of the sixty-eighth session of the United Nations General Assembly, the consensus was that opportunity cannot be missed for implementing ICT opportunity disability-inclusive development to empower PLWDs to be more economically productive.

As the Enugu training commences, the NITDA’s boss noted that the aim of empowering persons with special needs is for them to acquire ICT skills, digital literacy and its applications and prop up their relationship with people and the world at large.  

He added that the programme is in line with the vision of the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami to ensure that all Nigerians including PLWDs are empowered with IT skills through development of a critical mass of IT proficient and globally competitive manpower.

“The training programme will potentially make significant improvements in their lives. It will, no doubt, give them opportunities to enhance their social, cultural, political and economic integration in the society while at the same time, expanding the scope of opportunities available to them,” said the NITDA’s boss. He was represented by the Director, Corporate Planning and Strategy department of the agency, Dr Agu Collins Agu.

Over 730 persons across country and over 1000 jobs created

According to Abdullahi, NITDA, through this initiative, has trained over 730 persons across the country and has created over 1000 jobs because the ‘train the trainer’ programme has had an exponential ripple effect.

Earlier, the Executive Governor of Enugu State, Rt Hon Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi who was represented by the Commissioner for Science and Technology, Hon Obi Kama, expressed his delight to be part of the laudable training initiated by the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy. The governor thanked the NITDA for the implementation.

Enugu willing to partner with NITDA

He said massive unemployment due to the post COVID-19 pandemic, has prompted the state government in taking proactive steps in ensuring that youths leverage on the new entrepreneurial and economic opportunities associated with digital economy which led to the establishment of the Enugu State Technology Hub and Youth Innovation Centre.

“It was therefore necessary to empower the PLWDs in the ‘New Normal’ situation through capacity building programmes on ICT which will accelerate their opportunities in tapping into the endless possibilities unlocked by digitalization,” he said.

“I appreciate the inclusive nature of this training organized by NITDA in bridging the digital divide among PLWDs in the South-East, especially Enugu State. The State Government is willing to partner with NITDA by making available an office space for the agency to set up her South-East Zonal office” the Commissioner assured.

Other dignitaries present at the event were the Special Adviser to the Executive Governor of Enugu State on ICT, Mr Emeka Ani, the Sarikin Hausa of Enugu State, Sarikin Yusuf Sambo II, the Coordinator of the Non-Governmental Organization, Helpsfair Foundation, Mrs. Sandra Gabriel amongst many others.

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