The Federal Government is to spend the sum of N9 million on the economic empowerment of 300 physically-challenged persons. Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Hajia Zainab Maina, disclosed this yesterday in Abuja when she distributed aids and appliances to some individuals and States’ Rehabilitation Boards.
The minister said the beneficiaries would begin training in Akure (Ondo State) Port Harcourt (Rivers State and Makurdi (Benue State) in August 2012. She said some banks had been selected in each of the states to assist in the disbursement of seed money to beneficiaries after the training.
Maina said the government was aware of the plight of persons living with disabilities (PWDs) and the need for effective empowerment programmes to improve their socio-economic wellbeing, adding that the distribution of equipment to the PWDs was an indication of the government’s interest in ensuring that their lives were enhanced. The minister added that the ministry, in partnership with the states and the Office of the Special Assistant to the President on Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), had organised skill acquisition training grants for persons with disabilities in the areas of tie and dye, hair-dressing, soap making, cake baking, barbing, vulcanising and fishery, among others.
She explained that 20 non-governmental organisations (NGOs) were selected for the training while 250 PWDs were trained on the listed skills. A total of 45 wheelchairs, 72 armpit crutches, 72 elbow crutches and 72 tricycles were distributed to the representatives of each of the six geo-political zone.