Edo govt, GIZ train 29 virtually-impaired persons on digital skills

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Edo Government, in partnership with Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), on Thursday, trained 29 virtually-impaired persons on digital technology to empower and facilitate employment for them.

Dr Detlef Barth, Team Lead, Skills Development for Youth Employment (GIZ-SKYE), Nigeria, said that the training was aimed at addressing the challenges being faced by persons with disabilities in accessing employment opportunities.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Barth spoke at the Tech Envision Summit/Graduation ceremony, organised by management of Edo Innovate, in Benin.

NAN also reports that the theme of the summit was: “Fostering Digital Inclusion to Empower and Facilitate Employment for Visually Impaired Persons.”

Barth said that the summit was also to encourage stakeholders’ collaboration in creating an inclusive workplace.

“The summit was meant to foster dialogue and develop concrete action plans toward addressing the challenges faced by persons with disabilities in accessing employment opportunities,” he said.

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The team lead said that the beneficiaries, after completing the training, would also receive the employability skill training from the ‘EdoJobs’ job centre before going for internship.

He said that 21 out of the 29 participants completed the internship, with one securing a job while others enhanced their job security due to their newly-acquired digital skills.

Barth called for reasonable adjustments in administrative rules, policies and procedures to accommodate the needs of persons with disabilities.

“It is important to sensitise and provide the needed information to employers to help them understand and embrace the value of having diverse workforce, as encouraged by Nigerian Discrimination Against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Act, 2018.

“In 2021, SKYE, through its partner EdoJobs, trained 40 persons, 28 per cent being women living with disabilities, specifically those with walking and hearing impairments, in leather works.

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“The training focused on production of wallets, bags, belts and shoemaking,” he said.

Mr Ann Ojugo, Chairperson, Joint National Association of Persons Living with Disability (JONAPID), thanked the state government and GIZ for the training and empowerment.

She said that the beneficiaries, who were mainly visually- impaired, would now be able to work in the state civil service after acquiring the digital skills.

Mr Lucky Imafidon, Head of the Edo State chapter of the National Association for the Blind, said that he nearly lost his job because of his inability to use computer.

He commended the state government and GIZ for the training, saying he had been equipped with the skills needed in his job and could now function effectively without fear of being sacked.

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“I am happy to be part of the training, which has given me the skills to do my duty better as an administrative officer in my place of work.

“I nearly lost my job sometime ago because I wasn’t computer literate. I commend Edo state and GIZ for the training,” Imafidon said.

Highpoint of the event was the presentation of certificates and laptops to some of the outstanding beneficiaries.

NAN reports that GIZ-SKYE Nigeria focuses on improving the prospects of gainful employment for Nigerian youths, aged between 15 and 35 and for returnees in selected sectors of the economy.

SKYE is funded by German Federal Ministry for Economic Corporation and Development (BMZ) and Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation.

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