The Nigerian Communications Commission has deployed 84 assistive information technology projects at different locations in Nigeria to support people with special needs while supporting policies that enable disadvantaged members of the society to live a more qualitative life.
The Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) of the Commission, Prof. Umar Danbatta, disclosed this during a courtesy visit by a delegation from National Commission for Persons with Disabilities to the NCC over the weekend in Abuja, where he also restated NCC’s commitment to continually support people with special needs across the country.
Danbatta, while receiving the NCPWD team led by its Executive Secretary, James Lalu, said the telecom regulator had always implemented initiatives aimed at ensuring digital inclusivity for all Nigerians regardless of their circumstances.
Represented by the Director, Human Capital and Administration at NCC, Usman Malah, he said telecoms sector had become the backbone of the national economy and had recorded growth from 400,000 telephone lines on the eve of sectoral deregulation in 2000 to over 208 million active telephone lines today, just as active internet subscription rose to 156 million in the last two decades. The EVC stated that the ICT industry’s contribution to the Gross Domestic Product currently stands at 18.44 per cent, going by the data released by the National Bureau of Statistics as at the second quarter of 2022. Additionally, Danbatta said that NCC had continued to ensure quality of service delivery to the consumers and digital inclusion for all.
He further said the NCC recognised and aligned with the noble objectives behind the establishment of NCPWD as enabled by the Discrimination Against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Act of 2018.
“In other words, the project provides ICT tools and Assistive Technologies (ATs) to the blind, the deaf, dumb, crippled, cognitively impaired, and other categories of people living with disabilities. As disadvantaged members of society, the project is designed to assist in improving the quality of life of people living with disability,” he said.
In his remarks, the NCPWD’s Executive Secretary, Lalu, said the purpose of the agency’s visit was to keep the NCC management abreast of its mandates and activities, and to seek greater collaborations with NCC for the benefits of the estimated 35.5 million persons with disabilities in Nigeria.
He commended the NCC for the “wonderful work it has been doing through various projects in support of people with disabilities in the country.”