Over 27 million Nigerians living with disabilities — DG NCWD

The Director-General of the National Centre for Women Development, NCWD, Dr. Asabe Vilita Bashir, Friday, disclosed that there are over 27 million Nigerians living with disabilities.

She made this known on the occasion of the closing ceremony of a 5-day Information Communication and Technology, ICT and entrepreneurial training for the blind, deaf and hard of hearing, in Abuja.

The training which has 65 participants consisting of 30 blinds and 35 deaf and hard of hearing individuals, is aimed at exposing the participants to various ICT applications, tools and techniques which have the potential to make significant improvements in the lives of persons with disabilities, allowing them to enhance their social, cultural, political and economic integration in communities by enlarging the scope of activities available to them.

In her remarks, the NCWD DG said the training and economic empowerment for women is critical to the realization of the mission of the Centre, adding that the focus is to improve the lives of women, especially those in rural areas through sustainable developmental programs, so that they can become more productive and self-reliant.

She stated: “As at 2020, there are reportedly over 27 million Nigerians living with some form of disability. All hands must be on deck to support and integrate this significant group to the society so that they can build practical life skills that lead to enhanced independence and provides a path to recovery for those who feel isolated.

“NCWD is also committed to the implementation of Plan of Action adopted by the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), which includes two important areas for persons with disabilities, namely access to information and knowledge and capacity building.

“We will continue to advocates the rights and needs of persons with disabilities and fosters the effective use of ICTs that are accessible, adaptive and affordable.”

Bashir maintained that “ICT has now been recognized as the driving force and primary gadget for almost all progressive knowledge-based and skills-oriented development activities and initiatives in all spheres of human endeavor.

“ICT is the catalysts for change in working conditions, handling and exchanging of information, teaching methods, learning approaches, scientific research, and in accessing information. Just like other segments of the population, Persons with disabilities have the right to expect the same standard of education.

“Indeed, they also have the right to access and use mainstream educational tools, including ICT-based which are tools for fostering education and accessing productive information for economic growth & well-being.

“As a way to motivate all the participants, a brand-new laptop, Certificate of Participant and stipend for transportation will be given to all the participants. It is our hope that the system will be put to best use. We will continue to support and track the progress of all the participants to ensure they succeed in their chosen fields.”
On his part, Director ICT

Department, NCWD, Mr. Morrison Udobong, explained that increasing access to information and support, training and empowerment, connectivity, accessibility and investment in ICT sector will help to reduce gender based violence and position the country on the path for great things.

His words, “As we all know information is power, so a well informed mind is a catalyst for growth and development. The benefits of ICT are both individual and collective the individual benefits increased self esteem and reduced isolation, while the collective benefits include, economic growth and capacity building.

“National blindness and visual impairment survey in Nigeria conducted between 2005 – 2007 showed that 4.25 million Nigerians aged 40 are visually impaired or blind. The figures for the blind and deaf are significantly higher today and have impacted negatively the country’s workforce.

“ICT as a strategic option has the capacity to enable persons with disability take advantage of the educational system, entrepreneurship and job opportunities available in the country.”

Earlier, Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs, Engr. Olufunso Adebiyi, charged all the participants to show appreciation for this training by going out there with the skills they have received and be examples to others.

Get real time updates directly on you device, subscribe now.