Enugu Govt Partners NITDA To Train Physically-Challenged Youths

The governor of Enugu State, Chief Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, Monday, urged the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) to locate its Southeast zonal office in Enugu because of the strategic historical status of the city.

The governor spoke during the opening ceremony of a five-day training programme on information technology and entrepreneurship organized for 50 persons living with disabilities (PLWDs). Represented by the state commissioner for science and technology, Mr Obi Kama, Gov Ugwuanyi said the state identified with the agency’s initiatives, which informed his administration’s recent initiatives to empower physically-challenged people through IT entrepreneurship, policies and solutions to enable them to live productively with good sense of inclusion in the IT ecosystem.

According to him, it was in line with this vision that the state government recently established the Enugu Technology Hub and Youth Innovation Centres in Enugu urban and Obollo-Afor to accelerate the transition to more digitally enabled lifestyles and system of working globally.

THE WHISTLER reports that the entrepreneurial training, which is taking place at the state’s newly established Tech Hub and Youth Innovation Centre, is a partnership programme between the state and the NITDA.

The governor said his administration was taking a proactive step to create programmes for Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) skills development to reduce the risk of massive labour substitution and endemic unemployment by enabling the youth to leverage on the new entrepreneurial and economic opportunities associated with digital economy.

Quoting him, “Enugu State is also home to seven innovation hubs and 16 tertiary institutions with over 20 campuses. I will also proudly point out that the first computer system in Nigeria was assembled in Enugu at ASUTECH, now Enugu State University of Science and Technology (ESUTH).

“The state government is willing to partner NITDA by making available the entire required infrastructure to reactivate the Southeast zonal office at Enugu.”

Elaborating further, the governor said the training was designed to afford persons living with disabilities (PLWDs) the opportunity to be self-reliant and make meaningful contributions to society by building on their digital literacy skills. He also charged the participants to leverage on the opportunity the training presents to prepare themselves for active engagements in digital economy.

The commissioner for science and technology, Mr Kama, described the training as timely. In his words, “The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development elicits that gaps and risks implicit in the digital economy are more exposed by the COVID-19 shock, particularly in the African countries.

“The current ‘New Normal’ situation therefore requires the need to empower PLWDs through investments in ICT infrastructure, policies and solutions to accelerate their efforts in tapping into the new possibilities unlocked by digitalization. I appreciate the inclusive nature of this training in bridging the digital divide among PLWDs in the Southeast, especially Enugu State.

“I’m convinced that this training will mitigate the existing digital divide and foster the digital inclusion of persons living with disabilities within an educational context as well as within the society as a whole.”

The director general of NITDA, represented by Dr Collins Agu, commended the Ugwuanyi administration towards the development of IT and youth empowerment programmes in the state.

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