By Ahmed Ubandoma
The Minister of Youths Development, Dr Jamila Ibrahim, says 10 per cent of the ministry’s interventions will be allocated to Persons with Disabilities (PWDs).
Ibrahim made the disclosure when she met with the Executive Secretary, National Commission for Persons with Disabilities (NCPWD), Dr James Lalu, in his office on Tuesday in Abuja.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the meeting, which was at the instance of the executive secretary, centred on the inclusion of persons with disabilities in National Youths Policy of President Tinubu’s Administration.
The Minister also expressed readiness to provide necessary support to ease the inclusion of persons with disabilities in the national youth policy.
“We had very fruitful deliberations on the inclusion of persons with disabilities in the national youth policy and the 10 per cent disabilities quota that was requested to be included in all of the ministry’s activities.
“I assured the executive secretary that the 10 per cent inclusion request would be granted and I look forward to working with the commission.
“This will ensure that the rights of young people with disabilities are protected, for them to live with dignity and earn good sources of livelihood and to take young people out of the streets as many as possible,” Ibrahim said.
She said that the ministry intends to specifically partner with the commission, particularly to train persons with disabilities across the six geo-political zones of the country.
”These programmes include mentorship, to be run by an agency under the ministry of youth, that is the Centre for Leadership Training.
”We are hoping to bring more young people to learn about leadership skills that are required to actually address challenges affecting persons with disabilities.
”This is because, leadership requires that we build capacities that will ensure that the voices of the constituencies that we represent are well heard and acted upon,” she said.
Earlier, the Executive Secretary, Lalu, expressed gratitude to the minister for considering their request for the allocation of a 10 per cent slot in all programmes of the ministry.
”We are glad to hear your commitment to allocate the 10 per cent intervention opportunities to the disability community. This is very encouraging.
”What this means is that, we are going to see PWDs in the citizenship and leadership training centre, so that our people will acquire the needed leadership skills, and in the next chapter of this administration, we will see PWDs emerging as Ministers,” he said.
Also speaking, the Vice-Chancellor, Nasarawa State University, Keffi, Prof. Suleiman Bala, said that efforts were ongoing to make the university an inclusive centre for disability studies.
Bala expressed commitment to expand existing admission quota to accommodate more persons with disabilities in the university. (NAN)
Edited by Abdullahi Mohammed/Ekemini Ladejobi