As part of its efforts to make digital literacy all inclusive, the National Information Technology Development Agency, NITDA has completed a training for 30 persons living with various forms of disabilities in Kano State.
The closing ceremony of the five-day training on Office Automation and Technoprenuership was virtually attended by the Executive Governor of Kano State, His Excellency, Dr Abdullahi Umar Ganduje who was represented by Senior Special Assistance on Media, Mallam Salihu Tanko Yakasai, the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami, FNCS, FBCS, FIIM, and the NITDA Director General, Mallam Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, CCIE.
The Minister, in his remarks as the Chief Host advised the trainees to be ambitious and not to see their disabilities as challenges that would not make them achieve success in their chosen endeavours.
“You have to build on the skills you have acquired, challenge your previous successes. As entrepreneurs, you will face a lot of challenges so encouraged to be focused and chase your passion diligently”, the minister said.
Citing the examples of some renowned tech guru in the world who turned their challenges to strength so they could become what they are today to justify his position, he charged the beneficiaries to understand that “no deformity can limit the level of achievements except the one set for yourselves.”
He said, “Jeff Bezos founded Amazon in his garage in the year 1994 without making a profit for years. So you don’t have to be discouraged but keep your eyes on the ball”
Dr Pantami told the beneficiaries to count themselves lucky for being selected out of many people that applied for the training advising them to make judiciously used of the working tools provided for them and not to be tempted to sale it.
While commending the NITDA boss and the entire management of the agency for strategically implementing the policy of the ministry, he assured that the ministry would continuously be coming up with strategies that will support the digital economy mandate of the ministry.
He directed NITDA to continue giving high premium to developing the capacity of the people. “I want you to keep this training going so our people can be empowered. You are also advised to have data base of the beneficiaries in order to keep monitoring their achievements.
In his remarks, the representative of the governor, Mallam Yakasai commended NITDA for choosing Kano state for the training, noting that the acquired skills by the trainees would assist them to be self-reliant.
He said the state government would remain grateful for the opportunity, assuring that the state government will also striving to ensure that the lives of the physically challenged are supported with initiatives that would make things easier for them.
Earlier in his speech, the NITDA boss said that the programme was targeted at promoting inclusiveness in the nation’s journey to digital economy and ensuring that no Nigerian was left behind in the journey to digital Nigeria.
He pointed out that the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic had made digital skills imperative.
He said, “Never before was digital skills more critical as it is today. As we move from pandemic emergence response phase to recovery phase, the unprecedented disruption of this pandemic is accelerating the urgency of digital transformation and it has forced us to embrace new practices such as social distancing, remote working and virtual events.”
According to him, the minister has enjoined the agency to embark on massive training and re-skilling for all Nigerians, including more than the 25 million people living with disabilities, adding that this year training is focused on upskill and empowerment of the people living with disabilities with digital skills on Office Automation and Technoprenuership.
He said special attention was being paid to entrepreneurship because Small and Medium Enterprise and tech startups are the backbone of any nation.
Ado Sanusi Sabongida, one of the beneficiaries of the training, who is living with Cerebral Palsy, delivered vote of thanks on behalf of the others. He thanked the management of the NITDA for not forgetting special people in their programmes.
He advised other government agencies to emulate NITDA at empowering the special people adding that they should be looking inward to see abilities in their disabilities.
The highlight of the ceremony was the presentation of working tools to the trainees.