General

Government Pledges More Inclusive Programmes For People With Disabilities

The Nigerian government has pledged to give adequate consideration to the People With Disabilities, PWC, by including them in the scheme of things.

 

The Nigerian authorities stated that although, much was being expected, the government has done a lot to improve the lives of the community of people with disabilities.

 

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed stated this in Abuja on Thursday at the 2021 FRCN

Annual Lecture, with the theme ‘The Imperative of Disability Inclusion

in National Transformation.’

 

Alhaji Mohammed said the President’s passion towards the people with disabilities was demonstrated in the creation of the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs,

Disaster Management and Social Development to cater for the vulnerable in the society.

Social Protection

He further stated that President Muhammadu Buhari has demonstrated uncommon passion for inclusive social protection through the creation of lasting structures and institutions that would out leave his administration.

 

He said the Buhari Administration has also created the National Commission for Persons with Disabilities (NCPWD), headed by

an Executive Secretary from the community of persons with disabilities, in the person of Mr. James David Lalu, to formulate and implement policies favourable to persons with disabilities.

 

“Another significant step came in January 2019 with the ratification

of the Discrimination Against Persons with

Disabilities (Prohibition) Act 2018, which has become a major plank

for ensuring inclusive social protection in the

country.

 

“It is instructive to note that in all the various social protection programmes of the present administration, such as the Conditional Cash Transfer, the Government Enterprising and Empowerment Programme (GEEP), the N-power and the Home-Grown School Feeding programmes, to mention just a few, special consideration was given to the plight of people with disabilities,” Alhaji Mohammed said.

 

He said the President Buhari’s administration has recorded many firsts in the area of catering for the needs of people with disability by appointing persons with disabilities to his government.

 

He said President Buhari’s administration has has a Senior Special Assistant to the President on

Disability Matters (a Blind); Special Assistant to the President on Disability (Person with Physical Disability); Special Assistant to the

President on Special Needs (a Blind); Six Members of the Governing

Council of the National Commission for Persons with Disabilities as

well as Executive Secretary of the National Commission for Persons

with Disability (a Deaf).

 

The Minister also listed the Administration’s achievements in the area of disability inclusion as the accommodation of 100,000 beneficiaries with disabilities in the Conditional cash transfer; Inclusion of

40,000 persons with disabilities in the Batch C, stream 1 of the N-Power programme of the Federal Government; ongoing design and

construction of accessibility facilities in three Nigerian Universities (Uthman Dan Fodio University, Sokoto; Ahmadu Bello

University, Zaria and the University of Ilorin)

 

Other achievements listed by the Minister are the ongoing development of National Assistive Technology Scale-up Strategy/Roadmap, in collaboration with Clinton Health Access Initiative; development of minimum accessibility standard, a policy document that provides detailed accessibility facility requirements for buildings, roads,

transportations; and the approval by the Inspector General of Police for the establishment of disability services units in all Nigerian Police formations in the country, in partnership with the National Commission for Persons with Disability, to curb discrimination and other ill treatment of persons with disabilities in Nigeria

 

He said the National Commission for Persons with Disabilities has commenced the enrolment of Persons with Disabilities in a special health insurance scheme specially designed to commence with 800 pilot

beneficiaries cutting across the federation, while the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria, in collaboration with the National Commission for Persons with Disabilities, is currently developing a National Accessible Housing Programme for Persons with Disability in

the FCT and the 36 states, with a view to solving the housing needs of

the disability community.

 

 

 

The Founder of the Albino Foundation in Nigeria and co host of the event, Mr Jake Epele said the community of people with disabilities must be supported and included in the scheme of things in Nigeria.

 

 

 

He then encouraged people with disabilities to rise up to the occasion and never give up.

 

 

 

Inclusion and dignity

Meanwhile, the Director General Federal Radio Corporation. Dr. Mansur Liman said the discrimination suffered by people with disabilities were unacceptable.He said FRCN as an organisation believes in inclusion and dignity for people with disabilities.

 

 

 

The representative of the European Union at the event, Laolu Laola decried the poverty rate among people with disabilities in Nigeria and said despite that,they still faced marginalisation.

 

She applauded the Nigerian legislature for passing the 2019 persons with disabilities law and called for effective implementation of the law to make the desired difference in their lives.

 

The panelists submitted that the inclusion of the PWD must be sincere in terms of political and economic inclusion.

 

Laola said any approach to better the PWS must be holistic.

 

The panelists also discussed the issue of awareness, attitudinal change of members of the society towards PWD.

 

The Minister who also called for a deeper reflection and attitudinal change from members of the society towards PWD.

 

“Members of the traditional and religious groups should also help in making live easier for PWD,” he stated.

 

Alhaji Mohammed also commended the FRCN for sustaining its platforms of

public engagement beyond news and programming, describing the

corporation’s annual lecture series as an opportunity for all to key

into the various programmes of government to foster inclusion and

participatory governance.

 

 

 

The idea behind the FRCN annual lecture is to have an agenda setting platform to better the society.

 

 

Source: Voice of Nigeria