The empowerment programme was conducted at the Disabled Colony in Karmajiji, a popular settlement located along airport road in Abuja.
Addressing the disabled persons at the occasion, the national coordinating chairman of the society, Alhaji Iliasu Abdu-Rauf Olarenwaju, advised the beneficiaries to make judicious use of the funds provided to them through the various cooperative groups.
“We have visited all the geopolitical zones of the country. We have seen that there is a need for us to empower these people in order to reduce the menace of street begging. What most of these people want is empowerment to enable them to be self reliant. We have registered them in groups as cooperative societies, and we are releasing N500,000 to each group to engage in any business of their choice,” he said.
He said the society is partnering with all state governments as a rehabilitation centre is chosen in each zone to train people with disabilities.
He said various state governments had promised to provide accommodation and feeding for them at the various centers.
Responding on behalf of the disabled, the Sarkin Guragun Abuja, Alhaji Suleman Muhammad, expressed appreciation to the initiators of the programme.
“Most of my people are very hard working. Anybody who is familiar with the roads along Wuse market will see many disabled people selling items. Although they are constantly being disturbed, they prefer to be arrested doing legitimate businesses than being arrested for street begging,” he said.
The district head of Galadimawa, Alhaji Musa Barde, thanked the association for helping the disabled in a way that will help them get engaged in profitable businesses instead of begging for a living.