Stakeholders want full implementation of disability laws in Nigeria

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By Collins Yakubu-Hammer

The Disability Community in Nigeria has called for full implementation of disability laws in the country to ensure inclusiveness.
The community made the call at the National Disability Convening, organised by the Ford Foundation, in collaboration with the National Commission for Persons with Disability (NCPWD) with the theme: ”Reflecting on Progress, Evaluating the Implementation of the Disability Act in Nigeria” on Monday in Abuja.

The Executive Secretary, NCPWD, Mr James Lalu,  said that the Disability Act was a product of a united struggle by the disability community in the country spanning over 19-years.
Lalu said that the commitment of President Bola Tinubu through increased in budgetary allocation to the NCPWD was the best thing to have happened to the disability community.
‘’We have never had it so good. We are here to deliberate on the implementation of the Act and for the commission to know where we have reached and to harmonise the unity going forward.
”When you look at the implementation of the Act, the commission is working in the area of accessibility. We have already produced the accessibility regulations.
”Our collaboration with Nasarawa State University on the establishment of Centre for Disability Studies will see us having degree programmes on Accessibility Engineering, Assisting Technology, Nigerian Sign Language and Disability Inclusive Development,” Lalu said.
He appreciated the Ford Foundation and other stakeholders for their contributions to the disability community.
Also, the Senior Programme Officer, Ford Foundation, Dr Dabesaki Mac-Ikemenjima, identified lack of data as a major challenge in dealing with disability community in Nigeria.
”I think lots of data available is not sufficiently disaggregated, and so we don’t have accurate numbers in terms of the proportion of our population that has experienced disability in the country.
”So part of the work we supported over this years is to look at the right indicators that will help institutions responsible to collect accurate data and hopefully lead to a point where there will be accurate disaggregated data,” he said.

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Similarly, Dr Chike Okogwu, the Executive Director, Centre for Ability, Rehabilitation and Empowerment (CARE) advocated for more funding for PWDs through NCPWD.

‘’Without funding, the implementation of the Disability Act will not be done effectively.

”There should be a deliberate action good enough to make the commission work better. Please provide adequate funding for NCPWD, and that way, we can do more to support PWDs,” he said.

NAN reports that the event brought together personalities from the Ministry of Information and National Orientation, Ministry of Labour and Productivity, disability community and other relevant stakeholders. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)

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Edited by Deborah Coker/Ali baba-Inuwa

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