MTN Foundation advocates inclusive society for persons with disability
MTN Foundation, the corporate social investment vehicle of Nigeria’s leading Information and Communications Technology Company, MTN, has added its voice to the call for an inclusive society to benefit people living with disabilities at the opening ceremony of the first International Conference on Disabilities, held at the Civic Centre in Lagos, to draw attention to the plight of people living with disabilities and the need to foster social and developmental inclusion in the society.
The conference had the theme: “Creating an Inclusive Society for all.”
In his opening remarks, Chairman of the LOC, Ani Charles Bassey-Eyo, thanked stakeholders for their roles in developing the disability sector. He said the conference was the first of its kind in Africa, the aim being to infuse private sector experience to support people with disability, as well as foster endearing relationships with the business community through dissemination of information and awareness interventions.
Nonny Ugboma, Executive Secretary, MTN Foundation, restated the Foundation’s journey towards having an inclusive society and the need to ensure inclusion of people with disabilities. “MTN’s philosophy of an inclusive society is borne out of the realization that our social responsibility agenda cannot be complete without including persons with disabilities. We recognize this and have incorporated this philosophy into every initiative to benefit the affected people,” Ugboma said.
“We believe in education and empowerment of people with disabilities,” she added.
MTN’s effort towards inclusion has a three-pronged approach: public awareness and advocacy through road shows and seminars; strategic partnerships with critical government stakeholders in the disability space and implementation of high-impact sustainable projects to support people with disabilities.
The opening plenary discussed the topic ‘”Towards an inclusive Society, Improving Access and Building Capacity,” which was moderated by Chairman, LOC, Bassey-Eyo. The Governor of Nassarawa State, Umaru Al-Makura, former Governor, Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, Executive Secretary, MTN Foundation, Nonny Ugboma; President, Anglo-Nigerian Welfare Association for the Blind, Bashir Danlami, Dr. Hatim Omar, SSG, Lagos State, Tunji Bello and Delphine, made up the panel of discussants during the plenary.
“Disability is of the mind and in MTN, we believe that there is ability in disability, which is why we have put in place all these projects to empower persons with disability. We will continue to partner with government and other relevant stakeholders to improve the quality of lives of persons with disabilities across the country ”, said Akinwale Goodluck, MTN’s Corporate Services Executive.
MTN Foundation has invested over N10 billion in social projects in key areas of education, health and economic empowerment in 341 locations across the 36 states of Nigeria and the FCT.
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