The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has commenced a specialised ICT training for persons living with disabilities (PLWDs), as part of its mandate to develop and regulate information technology (IT) in Nigeria.

Digital Inclusion ensures that disadvantaged groups are given access and skills required to enjoy the benefits of the information age.

According to the World Bank, 1 billion people globally live with one form of disability or another. The World Report on Disability (WRD), jointly published by the World Health Organization and the World Bank in 2011, narrowed that figure to 25 Million as the number of Nigerians living with at least one form of disability.

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This number constitutes a significant proportion of the Nigerian population and it is critical to improve their aptitude for and access to ICT for the benefit of the economy.

NITDA has been organising an annual ICT training for PLWDs as a means of building their capacity to make them self-reliant. The training takes place in the different geopolitical zones of the country. This year’s edition is taking place in the North East. Gombe State was selected as the venue of the event due to its proximity to all the States of the Zone. During a courtesy call, the Governor of Gombe State Dr Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo commends the effort of the current management of NITDA for transforming a sleeping Agency to a very active and productive one.

Over 350 participants applied for the training and the participants were selected by a team of experts. These experts were drawn from the academia, civil society, representative associations of the PLWDs and the NITDA team. The participants were drawn from all the 6 States in the North East Zone. Each of the clusters for PLWDs was represented in the selection. The 3 clusters are the Physically Challenged, those with Hearing Impairment and those with Visual Impairment.