In fulfilment of the Renewed Hope Agenda of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s administration for disability inclusion, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Special Needs and Equal Opportunities, Hon. Mohammed Abba Isa, has proactively facilitated the empowerment of Persons With Disabilities (PWDs) via the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN).
Through the instrumentality of his office, Hon. Abba Isa demonstrated his commitment to inclusivity by midwifing the inclusion of five PWDs in the recent empowerment program organized by the agency.
The SSAP ensured that SMEDAN 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) recently launched by the agency.
The Senior Presidential aide, in a statement on Sunday, noted that this initiative is in furtherance of the mandate of his office to proactively create avenues of opportunities for inclusion through inculcation of disability requirements and perspectives in the policies, plans and programmes of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of the federal government in line with the Renewed Hope Agenda of the present administration.
Hon. Abba Isa vowed to continue to seize every opportunity available in both government MDAs and private initiatives for the betterment of the lives of PWDs in the country as rightly stated in mandate given to him by the President.
The SSAP thanked President Tinubu for his vision for disability inclusion, while reiterating 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.
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.