Lagos State Governor, Mr, Akinwunmi Ambode has stated that the state government would soon distribute letters of employment to 250 persons living with disabilities.
Ambode on Wednesday stated that those to be engaged would be deployed to the State Civil Service as well as the Local Government Areas and Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs).
This is coming just as the governor as he distributed various assistive technologies, mobility aids and financial grants to 2,000 persons living with disabilities and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) involved in taking care of such categories of people.
Items distributed included brand new 30-seater Hyundai and 12-seater Hyundai Buses, 500 White Canes, 1 Index Express Embosser with Duxbury Braille Translation Software, 10 Accessible Desktop Computers With Jaws Screen Reader, 20 Tactile Metric Sets, 100 Taylor Frame, 60 Magic White Boards, 6 Magnetic Boards, 300 Wheel Chairs, 50 Special Wheel Chairs (Rough Riders for people with Spinal Cord Injury), and 25 Computer sets for people living with hearing impairment.
In addition, 10 NGOs dealing with issues of disability in the State were given N500, 000 each as grants, while 500 people with disabilities received N100, 000 each as financial empowerment.
Speaking at the presentation ceremony held at De Blue Roof, LTV8 in Ikeja, Ambode, who was represented by his deputy, Dr Idiat Adebule, said the development was to ensure an all-inclusive government and to empower persons living with disabilities to become wealth creators and employers of labour.
He said: “To reinforce our determination to support persons living with disabilities to realise their dream, a N500million Trust Fund was established last year on the first anniversary of this government for the welfare of persons with disabilities in Lagos State. This was followed with the inauguration of a board to ensure judicious management of the Fund.
“Today, we are witnessing the presentation of this Fund to the first set of beneficiaries. Our focus is to move away from the previous charitable orientation of empowerment towards a more socially and economically oriented approach of enablement that will make people living with disabilities to become wealth creators and employers of labour.
“For the first phase of the programme, we are presenting vehicles, equipment, funds to enable individuals, homes and NGOs take charge of their future, start businesses and create wealth for themselves,” Governor Ambode said.
“We are already leading the way and it is my expectation that individuals, private and corporate entities will partner with the State Government by contributing generously to the Trust Fund.”
Speaking on behalf of the beneficiaries, Principal of Pacelli School for the Visually Impaired/Blind located in Surulere, Sister Jane Onyeneri said the gesture by Governor Ambode was highly commendable coming at a time the country was grappling with economic challenges.
She said by the development the governor had demonstrated that “he is a man of his words and ready to fulfill whatever promise made to the people.”