As part of its efforts to promote digital inclusion, the National Information Technology Development Agency, NITDA, has pledged to continue providing equitable chances to the vulnerable, particularly people living with various forms of impairments in the country.
This guarantee was given by the NITDA’s Director-General, Kashifu Inuwa, CCIE, at the recently concluded five-day training and empowerment program on Digital Skills and Entrepreneurship for People Living With Disabilities (PLWD), South-South edition, held in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
The NITDA boss, who was represented at the closing ceremony by Aristotle Onumo, Acting Director, Corporate Planning and Strategy, stated that empowering differently able persons in our society would encourage digital inclusion.
While describing digital transformation as one of the panaceas to the nation’s mirage of problems, Inuwa maintained that training and empowering the PLWD is part of the initiatives to lift Nigerians out of poverty, hence President Muhammadu Buhari’s approval of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy, NDEPS, in 2019.
He stated that the goal of training and empowerment for the “differently able” in our society is to make them financially independent and to close the digital divide caused by their circumstances.
He goes on to say that “the empowerment program is one of several possibilities provided to Nigerians to contribute to the implementation of the NDEPS agenda.” This initiative also addresses three pillars of NITDA’s Strategic Roadmap and Action Plan, SRAP 2021-2024, namely Digital Transformation, Digital Inclusion, and Digital Literacy and Skills, all of which were meant to help Nigeria become a viable digital economy.”
“Through the training, NITDA was able to provide possibilities for participants to learn the capacity to use digital technology to develop an enterprise that would conclude in wealth creation,” he explained.
While encouraging the beneficiaries of the empowerment program to continue their personal growth, which would aid in the increase of their production, Inuwa also stated that they should return to their respective communities and pass on their expertise to others.
The Director-General reaffirmed the NITDA’s ongoing involvement of PLWD in all of its programs, stressing that achieving a digitally inclusive society necessitates joint efforts from all stakeholders.
Inuwa mentioned Dr Ashi Mary Magdalene of the Department of Special Education at the University of Calabar, who believes that “no matter how disabled anybody is, they should not feel sorry for themselves.” The disabled are not unique; they are simply different.”
Mr Austin Dimkpa, the lead, Technical and Operations, Rivers State ICT Department, who represented the State government at the closing ceremony, stated that the empowerment program allows beneficiaries to join the league of the world’s financially stable people, adding that the ten richest people in the world work in the information technology sector.
While expressing his heartfelt gratitude to NITDA for training and equipping PLWDs in Rivers State with computers and IT working tools, he asked beneficiaries to make wise use of the equipment in order to improve their lot and lessen their reliance on others.