The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) says it has trained and empowered 27 people living with disabilities in Delta.
Mrs Beauty Aikhomu, the NDDC, Head of Department (HoD), Youth, Sports, Culture and Women Affairs, Warri Office, said the aim was to make them self-reliant.
Aikhomu said the process of empowering the beneficiaries with starter packs was underway to enable them to adequately put their skills into proper use.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the programme tagged: “Training and Empowerment for People living with Disability” was sponsored by the NDDC and facilitated by an NGO, “Health and Skills for Africa”.
NAN reports that the training, which started on April 6, covers: Confectionery, Bead making, Photography, Makeup (manicure and Pedicure).
Others were: Auto gele, Turbab, Ankara and Shoe making, Wig making (manicure and pedicure), fixing of eyelashes and GSM repair.
Aikhomu said that the commission was committed to improving positively on the lives of people of Niger Delta area.
“NDDC is set up to affect lives of everybody in the Niger Delta positively; so, it will not be out of place in doing more of this kind of programme, if need be.
“NDDC knows what to do at every point in time; there is a starter pack accompanying this programme and the process is already ongoing.
“The starter pack is one of those things to ensure that the trainees do not leave here and go and sit at home, but to start doing something.
“I can say categorically that the programme is successful, because during exhibition and testimony time, some of the trainees have started making money from the skills in their neighborhoods,” she said.
Also, Mrs Rachael Misan-Ruppee, the Programme Coordinator in Delta, said the training was held concurrently across the states in the Niger Delta region.
According to Misan-Ruppee, the trainees have started utilizing their skills to make money.
She said that the starter packs would be a boost and a driven force for them to make more resources for better living.
“Physically challenged persons have their methods and unique character; when you show them love and encouragement, they are ready to put in their best.
“The centre was peaceful, even before the closing ceremony, some of the trainees have started making money. Those that make shoes, bags, cake, beads and others have started selling.
“I believe that when the NDDC gives them the starter packs that suppose to go with the training, they already have a foundation and this will now be a motivation for them in their various trades.
“When the trainees started, they did not know anything about the skills, but today they are professionals in their various fields as attested to by their trainers,” she said.
Misan-Ruppee commended the NDDC for organising such a programme, noting that the gesture had given the physically challenged people a sense of belonging in the oil producing region.
One of the beneficiaries, Mr Friday Otobo, thanked the commission for the programme.
Otobo advised his colleagues to put what they have learnt into practice.
“We should do the right thing out there so that we can add value to the society.
“I thank NDDC for putting smile on our faces. This is the first of its kind and we are looking forward to the second batch,” he said.
Another trainee, Mr Christopher Omukoro, thanked the NDDC for creating a platform for them to acquire skills and contribute their quotas to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
A trainer in confectionery, Mrs Gbogiemi Eseoghene, expressed surprise at the enthusiasm of the beneficiaries in acquiring skills.
“They were all willing to learn and they got the knowledge; they are professionals now in their trades. The period of training was short. NDDC should do the programme often,” she said.
Highlights of the ceremony was the exhibition of the various items produced by the trainees in the course of the programme.