The Federal Government has begun a three-day entrepreneurship skills development programme for 42 Persons Living with Disabilities (PWDs) across the seven states in the Northwest to enhance their economic empowerment and livelihoods.
The states are Kano, Kaduna, Katsina, Kebbi, Jigawa, Sokoto and Zamfara.
The training exercise was initiated by the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development.
The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Hajiya Sadiya Umar-Farouk, stated this at the inauguration of the exercise yesterday in Kano.
She said that six participants drawn from each of the seven states of the region would get N100, 000 each as start-up capital.
Umar-Farouq said that elimination of all forms of discrimination and violence against PWDs and empowering them economically through the provision of skills training would go a long way in paving the way for unbundling their full potential.
The minister, represented by Mrs Nkechi Nwukwe, Director, Special Needs of the ministry, said the government was mindful of the importance of disability as a development issue.
“The entrepreneurial skills offer new opportunities for everyone. These opportunities are more significant for the PWDs,” she said.
She said the participants would be exposed to modern techniques in fish farming, phone repairs and cosmetic production.
The minister urged the beneficiaries to be active in confronting the challenges of disability with determination, courage and confidence.
“I encourage the participants to be active, alive and firmly confront the challenges of disability with determination, courage and confidence.
“I implore you to maximise the opportunities of this workshop to improve your livelihood and also contribute your quotas to nation-building,” she said.
Dr Nasir Gwarzo the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, said the workshop was designed to expose the participants to entrepreneurship skills that would make them self-reliant.
Represented by Mr Garba Magaji, the Permanent Secretary said the Federal Government had accorded priority to the care and development of the vulnerable, especially PWDs.
According to him, the training, the third in its series, will be implemented across the six geo-political zones, to address some of the challenges affecting PWDs.
“It will address issues of inclusiveness among PWDs, especially regarding income-generating activities, equipping them with necessary skills to ensure sustainable livelihood and developing their entrepreneurial competencies to favourably compete in the business environment,” he said.
Dr Zara’u Muhammad, Kano State Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, said the state government would continue to adopt proactive measures to enhance support services to the PWDs.
While commending the gesture, Muhammad reiterated the government’s commitment to empower and support people living with disabilities in the state.
One of the participants, Malam Ali Idi, lauded the gesture, adding that it would empower them to become self-reliant.