By Ahmed Ubandoma/Cecilia Ijuo
Sen. Shehu Sani, has urged President Bola Tinubu to give 25 per cent fuel subsidy palliative to Persons with Disabilities (PWD).
Sani said this when he led leaders of PWD from Kaduna State on a visit to the Executive Secretary, National Commission for Persons with Disabilities(NCPWD) in Abuja on Friday.
The former lawmaker representing Kaduna Central, said the 25 per cent consideration had become necessary in view of the impact of economic challenges on them.
He said PWD in Nigeria, who were over 35 million, were not only grappling with disabilities but also poverty, adding that “they face double tragedy”.
He said he was optimistic that when the palliative would be released to the commission on their behalf, it would be judiciously distributed.
On challenges, Sani said from interactions with management of the commission, it was obvious that funding was a major problem.
“I am happy that you have been able to carry out your mandate as a commission even with the meagre resources.
“I commend your hard work and that of the management in ensuring that the mandate of the commission was followed through.
“My relationship with them is not political but a matter of personal conviction,” he said.
He further said, “It has always been a passion to ensure that persons with disabilities are given the opportunity to contribute to national development.
“I have always enquire to ensure that the commission is directly connected to the people it was created for.
“I heard that some people with disabilities find it difficult to get in touch with the commission.
“So, other states can key into this initiative as we have done today.”
The Executive Secretary, NCPWD, Mr James Lalu, called on Nigerians to support the commission to enable it carry out its responsibilities.
He said the call had become necessary because of the plight of persons with disabilities in Nigeria.
“One could rarely see a family without persons with disabilities.
“As such, we are calling on well meaning Nigerians to support this commission to properly serve those it was established for.
“We do not need handouts. We are smart and intelligent and when given the opportunity we will contribute to the development of Nigeria,”he said.
The executive secretary commended the Federal Government for providing job opportunities for some persons with disabilities.
He said, “over 200 people with disabilities have been offered jobs in the public service and they have started work.
“I commend former President Muhammadu Buhari for his support and also President Bola Tinubu, who has started carrying us along.”
He further commended Sen. Sani for his contribution towards the passage of the bill that established the commission.
“I remember then in the 9th National Assembly when we were always coming out to protest the non passage of our bill.
“At a point the bill got missing and Sen. Sani helped to find it then followed through until it was passed and assented to.
“For this we remain eternally grateful and we are ready to partner with him and his network of friends to impact the lives of persons with disabilities.”
Lalu said the commission was working to ensure better living condition for persons with disabilities.
He assured the delegation from Kaduna state that the commission would assist them where necessary.
“I appreciate your visit and I will be visiting Kaduna, which is the head office of National Disability Forum,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the NCPWD was established following passage of Persons with Disabilities Act in 2018.
The commission was established to ensure that all government programmes and services are accessible to persons with disabilities.
It was also established to provide awareness on the rights of persons with disabilities among others.(NAN)(www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Maharazu Ahmed