|MTN Nigeria recently hosted the first ever gathering of the Nigerian Business and Disability Network (NBDN). Registering over 100 stakeholders in attendance, the event was held at MTN Nigeria headquarters, at Falomo, Lagos, on Thursday, May 19, 2022.|
The Nigerian Business and Disability Network (NBDN) is an employer-led platform launched in 2020 and incubated by Sightsavers in partnership with the Chartered Institute of Personnel Management (CIPM). The network’s strategic objective is to bring member-organisations and other key stakeholders together to share knowledge, find lasting solutions to pressing issues, and foster multi-stakeholder partnerships aimed at making workspaces in private and public organisations for persons with disabilities more accessible.
With over 25 million people living with disabilities in Nigeria, the theme of the maiden edition of the conference ‘Eliminate Barriers Against Inclusive Workplaces in the Private Sector’ promotes inclusion in organisational policies, while also building the disability confidence of employers, and ensuring the job readiness of people with disabilities.
In his keynote address, Dr. Adebukola Adebayo, a Disability Inclusion Consultant at World Bank Group, Nigeria said; “I am happy that in my lifetime, we can see the private sector converge for our sake. This is a huge leap and we must eliminate barriers in the workplace. Companies that employ people with disabilities are more socially responsible than companies who do not.”
Chief Human Resource Officer, MTN Nigeria, Esther Akinnukawe, said “We at MTN Nigeria are delighted to be hosting this event. There is a lot of value inherent in the promotion and inclusion of persons with disability. At the same time, there are varying issues to be solved around the clusters of disability, and although these are early days for us, MTN is committed to focusing on areas of accessibility and recruitment. Ultimately, our goal is to incorporate qualified individuals, despite disability, into the workforce.”
The well attended event had stakeholders from different organisations, including James Lalu, Executive Secretary, National Commission for Persons with Disability (NCPWD); Omobolanle Victor-Laniyan, Chairperson, Nigeria Business Disability Network (NBDN); Dr. Joy Shu’aibu, Director of Programs and Operations, Sightsavers Nigeria; Olatunji Solanke, Area Head Talent, British American Tobacco, and Inyang Osazuwa, Senior Manager, Employee Experience, MTN Nigeria