The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) said it has deployed 84 assistive Information Technology projects at different locations in Nigeria to support people with special needs while supporting policies that enable disadvantaged members of the society to live a more qualitative life.
According to a statement from the Commission, the Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) of the Commission, Prof. Umar Danbatta, disclosed this during a courtesy visit by a delegation from National Commission for Persons with Disabilities (NCPWD) to the NCC in Abuja, where the EVC also restated NCC’s commitment to continually support people with special needs across the country.
Danbatta, while receiving the NCPWD team led by its Executive Secretary, James Lalu, said the telecom regulator has always implemented initiatives aimed at ensuring digital inclusivity for all Nigerians regardless of their circumstances.
Represented by the Director, Human Capital and Administration at NCC, Usman Malah, the EVC stated that in addition to implementing 5% inclusiveness of persons with disabilities in NCC’s staffing efforts in accordance with the law, the telecom regulator, through the Universal Service Provision Fund (USPF), has executed many projects within the framework of its E-Accessibility Programme in last 10 years that targets the challenged members of the society.
“Our E-Accessibility project seeks to meet the ICT needs of persons living with disabilities in Nigeria by providing ICT tools, assistive technologies, training, and Internet provision in the identified locations. Between 2012 to 2020, the NCC deployed the E-Accessibility Projects in, at least, 84 locations nationwide. The project provides ICT tools and Assistive Technologies (ATs) to the blind, the deaf, dumb, crippled, cognitively impaired, and other categories of people living with disabilities. As disadvantaged members of society, the project is designed to assist in improving the quality of life of people living with disability,” he said.
In his remarks, the NCPWD’s Executive Secretary, Lalu, said the purpose of the agency’s visit was to keep the NCC management abreast of its mandates and activities and to seek greater collaborations with NCC for the benefits of estimated 35.5 million persons with disabilities in Nigeria.
“What we want to achieve is to make Nigeria a country that is comfortable for PLWD by ending discrimination and providing an adequate reporting system and we have seen NCC as a strategic and important partner in this journey,” Lalu said.
The NCPWD was established, pursuant to section 31 of the Discrimination Against Persons with Disability (Prohibition) Act 2018, to promote, protect and prioritise the rights of persons with disabilities, and to further enhance their productivity through education, health, and other socio-economic activities and programmes.