Home Disability News Group restates commitment to train PWDs, graduates 20 in skills acquisition

Group restates commitment to train PWDs, graduates 20 in skills acquisition

by Inclusive News Network

A community development initiative, Project Enable Africa, has restated its commitment to take many Persons with Disabilities out of labour market.

It said this is achievable through its skills acquisition programmes.

Project Enable Africa disclosed this yesterday, during the graduation ceremony of 20 Persons with Disabilities which took place at Radisson Blu, Ikeja area of Lagos State.

The initiative called on government to improve on disability-friendly policies in order to achieve this laudable goal.

Speaking with journalists shortly after the graduation ceremony, Founder, of Project Enable Africa, Olusola Owonikoko, said the initiative has leveraged on Disability Bill that was signed into law by President of the federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari about five years ago, to train scores of Persons with Disabilities, expose them to internship and secure decent employments for them in various sectors.

Represented by Michael Ojediran, The Executive Program Officer, Project Enable Africa, he said the just concluded training for the 20 persons was to groom and expose them to employment opportunities in the hospitality sector.

He said though the Disability Bill was signed into law about five years ago, a lot still needs to be done to ensure that employers of labour include five per cent of Persons with Disabilities in their workforce.

He said, ‘’When we talk about disability inclusion in Nigeria, what comes to mind is the Disability Bill which mandates every employer of labour to have five per cent of their work force as Persons with Disabilities.

‘’This has brought a lot of improvement since 2019, and this is the gap that Project Enable Africa is trying to fill especially between the demand and supply of labour.

There are many Persons with Disabilities who are being discriminated in terms of employment but what we do is to equip them with employment skills and partner with various companies to provide employment for them.

‘’The trainings exposed them to internship and employment opportunities through confidence, courage, self-discovery, goal settings, and work etiquette among others.

Also speaking, one of the facilitators for the trainings, Toluwase Olaniyan, Managing Partner, Worden HCD Limited said disability was more of a stigma that could not be easily overcome but existing programmes by Project Enable Africa have proved that Persons with Disabilities have lots of skills embedded in them to develop Africa.

‘’People’s perception about disability is that it is a stigma that cannot be overcome but we have come with the reality that persons with disabilities have a lot to offer the society.

‘’The government of Nigeria should build a system that will accommodate Persons with Disabilities, in terms of infrastructures that can easily be accessed. Also, it should design policies that are disability friendly and we need to enforce this to the latter so that Persons with Disabilities can render their best to the society.’’ He said.

Ayo Olanrewaju, Human Capital Lead, KFC, Nigeria, said in India, the Master franchise of the company built some stalls that are fully being operated by Persons with Disabilities since Year 2000, ‘’In India, we have some stalls that are completely being operated by Persons with Disabilities, since the year, 2000. Global inclusiveness has led to this.

‘‘We are also planning a similar project in Nigeria to see how we can integrate Persons with Disabilities in our programmes.’’ Said the facilitator.

Similarlly, Kola Olugbodi, a Director with Project Enable Africa and Chief Executive Officer, Background Check International, said the project is more of a calling to ensure that inclusiveness in work place becomes a tradition in Nigeria.

Two of the trainees, Oluwasegun Samagbeyi and Mary Adebiyi said they have benefitted immensely from the trainings.

According to Mary, she has secured employment with a hospitality company after her internship.

In attendance were partners like Radisson Blu, KFC and Sustainable Hospitallity Alliance among others.

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