The Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), Ibadan, as part of efforts to integrate the People with Disabilities (PWDs) into the non-oil export sector, has empowered and donated industrial leather sewing machines to the Federal College of Education (Special), Oyo. The donation is to ease the stress students with disabilities go through in their vocational studies.
To familiarise students with the equipment, NEPC’s Coordinating Office in Oyo State organised a training on the production of leather bags for the PWDs in the state. The training facilitated by Planet 3R, an Ibadan-based vocational centre, was aimed at facilitating the inclusion of PWDs in the non-oil export value-chain, to enhance their skills development as well as supporting the institution’s Entrepreneurship Centre with modern tools needed to ease learning process, production of quality products, create employment and to grow export revenues through increased productivity from PWDs.
The State Coordinator, Oyo State Coordinating Office of the NEPC, Bolanle Emmanuel, while speaking, said that the expectation of the NEPC was to create jobs, improve quality production from the centre and to have the products on shelves at Amazon and other foreign markets. “Earlier in the year, we paid a courtesy visit to the school to assess products made by these special students, sensitise them on export business and identify needs at their Entrepreneurship/Vocational Centre, which we could support and we found that about 200 special students crowd around a manual machine to learn.
“We returned to our drawing board to see how we could assist in line with our organisational goal of promoting non-oil export in the state. That was what gave birth to the donation and training of the students, to see them learn at ease and be more productive”, she explained. The Provost of the institution, Dr. Ademola Salami appreciated NEPC for the support and the NEPC Oyo State Coordinator for her efforts. “We pledge to make effective and full utilisation of the equipment provided by the NEPC. We also seek for more collaboration in the areas of product marketing and additional support for the students”, he said.