Senior Special Assistant to President Bola Bola Ahmed Tinubu on Special Needs and Equal Opportunities, Hon. Mohammed Abba Isa, has commended the Director General of Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), Mr Charles Odii, for his exemplary commitment to inclusivity and empowerment as demonstrated in the recent empowerment program organized by the agency.
In a commendation letter issued Sunday, Hon. Abba Isa stated that he was delighted that SMEDAN, under the leadership of Mr Odii, successfully allocated the prescribed 5% statutory quota for Persons With Disabilities (PWDs) in accordance with the national disability law in the National Business Skills Development Initiative (NBSDI) of the agency.
The Senior Presidential aide noted that the D.G’s thoughtful decision to include Persons With Disabilities as part of beneficiaries of the empowerment program not only aligns with the Renewed Hope Agenda of the present administration but also reflects the ethos of social inclusion and empowerment that the government strives to foster.
The SSAP further extended the gratitude of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to SMEDAN for ensuring that the PWDs who benefitted from this allocation were not only trained but also provided with certificates and kits to kickstart and grow their businesses.
“I am pleased to inform you that Mr President is aware of your commitment to facilitating tangible and sustainable progress among this demographic, which is a testament to your leadership and dedication to the principles of social justice.
“This initiative not only fulfills legal obligations but also sets a precedent for other organizations to emulate, reinforcing our collective efforts to create a more inclusive and equitable society,” the senior presidential aide stated.
While thanking President Tinubu for his vision for disability inclusion, Hon. Abba Isa reiterated Mr President’s unwavering commitment to fostering an environment where all citizens, including those with disabilities, can thrive and contribute meaningfully to the nation’s economic development in line with his Renewed Hope Agenda.
Recall that SMEDAN had last Friday awarded startup kits to some Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) and other entrepreneurs to grow their businesses.
The Director-General of SMEDAN, Mr Charles Odii, announced the gesture on Friday in Abuja.
Odii said that the empowerment was done under the National Business Skills Development Initiative (NBSDI) of the agency.
The SMEDAN DG restated the Federal Government’s commitment to ensuring an inclusive government that leaves no one behind, especially the youth, women and PWDs.
No fewer than 55 persons were trained and awarded certificates and start-up kits in the federal Capital Territory.
Of this number, 5 Persons With Disabilities drawn from different disability clusters which included the Visually impaired, the Physically challenged, the Amputees and the Deaf attended the training.
The names of the PWD participants are Anyanwu Perpetua Ada, Grace Dalla, Ashiru Abdullah, Jane Oke and Adero Umar.
Some of participants who trained in fashion designing received industrial machines and while those who trained in catering, received mixers, gas cylinders and an industrial oven each.
The participants, who trained in leather works, were also equipped with the necessary machines for their business.
According to SMEDAN DG, the training is expected to run concurrently in 13 States of the federation, with 55 participants in each state, totalling 715 to be empowered by the agency.
One of the PWD awardees, Mr Adero Umar, thanked SMEDAN and the government for the opportunity provided for them to be part of the training.
Umar said: “I am happy for this opportunity and the materials in leather works, which I have received today.
“I will not roam the streets begging because I have acquired a skill and will be able not only to start my own shoe business but employ people like me to join me in my business.”
Another PWD, Mr Ashiru abdullahi who is already a fashion designer, thanked the agency, saying the industrial sewing machine he got would enable him to expand his business.