The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has completed the training of 30 persons living with various forms of disabilities in Kano, Kano State as part of its effort to make digital literacy all inclusive.
The closing ceremony of the five-day training on Office Automation and Technoprenuership was virtually attended by the Executive Governor of Kano State, Dr Abdullahi Umar Ganduje who was represented by Senior Special Assistance on Media, Mallam Salihu Tanko Yakasai, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, and NITDA’s Director General, Mallam Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi.
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,” Pantami advised. “As entrepreneurs, you will face a lot of challenges so encouraged to be focused and chase your passion diligently. No deformity can limit the level of achievements except the one set for yourselves,” he added.
Citing example of some renowned tech gurus in the world, the minister explained that most of them turn their challenges to strength so they could become what they are today. 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.”
Pantami informed the beneficiaries to count themselves lucky for being selected out of many people that applied for the training advising them to make judicious use of the working tools provided for them and not to be tempted to sell it.
While commending the NITDA’s boss and the entire management of the agency for strategically implementing the policy of the ministry, Pantami stated 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.
His words: “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.”
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. He also maintained that the state government is also striving to ensure that the lives of the physically challenged are supported with initiatives that would make things easier for them.
Earlier, the NITDA boss said that the programme is targeted at promoting inclusiveness in the nation’s journey to digital economy. He added that the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic has made digital skills imperative.
“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,” said Abdullahi.
He reiterated that the training is aimed at ensuring that no Nigerian is left behind in the journey to ‘Digital Nigeria’.
“The minister has enjoined us to embark on massive training and re-skilling for all Nigerians including more than the 25 million people living with disabilities. This year training is focused on upskill and empowerment of the people living with disabilities with digital skills on Office Automation and Technoprenuership,” he added.
According to him, special attention is being paid to entrepreneurship because small and medium enterprises (SMEs) 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, thanked the NITDA for not forgetting special people in their programmes.
He advised other agencies of government 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.