The population of Nigerians leaving some sort of disability is estimated to be around 19 million with 4.7 million of them having significant difficulties functioning according to The World Report on Disability 2018.
In a bid to cater to and accommodate these persons in society, private institutions like MTN Nigeria focus on creating a future; inclusive, fair, and conducive for persons with disabilities to excel without barriers and restrictions.
December is the month where the International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPWD), established by the United Nations in 1992, is commemorated annually. To mark the occasion, MTN Nigeria partnered with the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Social Development in Abuja to honour the day.
Speaking at the IDPWD commemoration, Minister for Humanitarian Affairs & Social Development, Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouk said, International Day of Persons with Disabilities is more than a day for reflection for us. It is a rallying call for us to strive towards a more inclusive society. This can only be achieved by collaborative effort; to make our future more accessible to all.
Also, addressing the guests, Director, MTN Foundation, Dennis Okoro reiterated MTN’s commitment to ensuring persons living with disabilities are not at a disadvantage in society due to their condition. He said Over 20,000 persons with disabilities have benefitted from MTN Foundation Disability Support Project. In addition, 1200 undergraduate scholarships have been awarded to students in public tertiary institutions under the MTNF Scholarship Scheme for Blind Students. We will continue to collaborate with other agencies and institutions that have this shared vision.
As part of activities to commemorate the day, MTN Foundation donated relief and mobility items, which included braille machines, crutches, and elbow pads to name a few, to persons with disabilities through the Ministry.
The Minister for Women Affairs, Dame Pauline Tallen who was present at the event commended MTN and its Foundation for their relentless support and commitment to improving the plight of PwDs in Nigeria.