TOYIN ADEBAYO, ABUJA
Not less than 35 inmates of the FCT Vocational and Rehabilitation Center Bwari, yesterday, graduated from various sections of the facility, ending five year wait for the students.
The FCT Minister of State, Dr. Ramatu Aliyu, who spoke at the 7th graduation ceremony of students of the center, said the Administration has without doubt, demonstrated its commitment to effective service delivery, by providing the needed support for persons with disabilities.
Represented at the event by her Special Assistant on Social Development, Mrs. Simisola Ayoade, the minister charged the grandaunts to make proper and commercial use of the starter parks given to them, even as she assured that the administration will broaden its scope of providing entrepreneurial and skill acquisition with profitable value to persons living with disabilities.
“Government is further taking series of actions in advancing the inclusion of persons with disabilities as enshrined in the Sustainable Development Goals agenda of the United Nations which is aimed at improving the well being of persons with disabilities as it relates to the 17 SDGs with the ability of opening up communication, independence and improved quality of livelihood for persons with disabilities.
“Furthermore, the Administration is taking additional steps to reinforce the battle against the phenomenon of discrimination which constitutes one of the main challenges that people with disabilities face at every level of society.”
Speaking on the prolong interval since the last graduation in 2015, the Director Social Welfare, Social Development Secretariat of the FCTA, Dr. Felicia Nwogu, identified administrative challenges as being responsible for the delay.
“For about five years now, we have not been able to graduate due to one reason or the other. Before now we have had six graduation ceremonies, then the mandate was on the NGO, Society against Prostitution and Child Labour Eradication in Nigeria, SAPLAN. There was however one or two anomalies that government was not satisfied with while SAPLAN was in charge. We had some administrative issues which constituted a major drawback to the graduation.
“However, going forward, we hope to have graduation ceremonies annually, but of course we don’t expect government to do everything on its own. Some NGOs or institutions can take up this graduation, give the grandaunts starter parks and they can take care of themselves.”
She assured that the Administration will not renege on its pledge to provide critical support for the vulnerable.
The beneficiaries who were trained in leather works, metal fabrication, electronics, welding, fashion designing, tailoring, among other vocations, received starter parks including filling machines, industrial sewing machines, bench grinders among other equipment.
Officials say the equipment and start up capital distributed to the 35 beneficiaries is valued at over N4million.