Federal Govt Pledges Assistance For Local Producers

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Federal government has restated its commitment to providing an enabling environment for local producers to thrive.

The minister of humanitarian affairs, disaster management and social development, Hajia Sadiya Umar Farouq, gave the assurance at the inauguration of a three-day capacity building workshop for Local Producers of Assistive Technologies (AT) yesterday in Lokoja, the Kogi State capital.

Farouq said the workshop was put together with the aim of ensuring that millions of Persons With Disabilities (PWDs) enjoy the right to independent living, inclusion and participation through local production of quality and affordable assistive devices.

According to her, the workshop is to enlighten local producers on how best to maintain, develop and improve production; interact with successful producers, and ensure standardization and quality control of production.

Represented by the director, the special needs department of the ministry, Mrs Nkechi Onwukwe, the minister said the cost of importing the devices was becoming high on the federal government and therefore needed to look inwards.

‘’This can be achieved by encouraging our local producers to rise up to the occasion by challenging the status quo and delivering quality products that can match up with foreign ones.

“Government is ready and would continue to provide an enabling environment for the sustainability of our local producers to thrive.

“Our gathering here today is to enable us to explore greater possibilities in our collective quest to address issues of inclusiveness among PWDs especially regarding provision of quality assistive devices,’’ she said.

The minister said the workshop would enhance the development of entrepreneurial competencies to favorably compete in the business environment.

She urged all stakeholders to ensure improved access to assistive devices to enable PWDs to participate more actively in societal activities and adapt positively to challenges of impairment.

In her remarks, the Kogi State commissioner for women’s affairs and social development, Hajia Fatima Buba, congratulated the beneficiaries and thanked the federal government for the gesture.

Buba, who was represented by the acting permanent secretary in the ministry, Mr. Emmanuel Eleni, said the event symbolized commitment at all levels to ensure protection and advancement of PWDs to live an independent life for all-inclusive national development.

One of the beneficiaries, who is a local producer of assistive devices, Aminu Mohammed, from Kano State thanked the minister for organizing the workshop and for assisting them with the grant to boost their production.

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