Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouq, Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, has restated Federal Government’s commitment to the care and needs of Persons with Disability (PWDs) across the country.
Farouq stated this at a news conference to commemorate the 2022 International Day of PWDs (IDPWDs) on Monday in Abuja.
The theme for this year’s celebration was “Transformative Solutions for Inclusive Development: the role of Innovation in Fuelling an Accessible World”.
According to Farouq, this year’s commemoration globally is centred on the overarching theme of innovation and transformative solutions for inclusive development.
Farouq, represented by Dr Umar Bindir, the National Coordinator of NSIP, noted that it was in line with the theme of the 77th session of the UN General Assembly.
“In committing to the realisation of the 2030 agenda for sustainable development, the Federal Government remains committed towards doing the best to cater for the needs of all her citizens, including PWDs, where no one is left behind.
“In recent years, disability issues are now placed at the front burner of national discussions and developments.
“It is pertinent to note that following Mr President’s assent to the Discrimination Against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Act, a lot has changed regarding issues of disability in the country.
“These have helped in no small measure in promoting the participation of PWDs in all aspects of life and their aspiring to leadership and decision making positions,” Farouq said.
The Minister further explained that a lot of state governments had also domesticated the Act into laws in their various states, adding that recently, Abia, Edo and Kano states passed their own laws.
“However, a lot still needs to be done towards the effective implementation of the provisions of the Act, especially in the areas of accessibility, advocacy and sensitisation among others.
“The Federal Government has achieved a lot in the year under review, ranging from capacity development, empowerment, inclusion into social register, National Social Investment Programme (NSIP) to employment of PWDs into the Federal Civil Service and many others.
“However, government cannot do it alone, hence the collaboration with various stakeholders and partners.
“We therefore appreciate all of them for their usual cooperation and support to the ministry,” Farouq said.
Similarly, the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Dr Nasir Sani-Gwarzo, represented by the ministry’s Director of Humanitarian Affairs, Alhaji Ali Grema, said the aim of the conference was to show-case the achievements of the ministry in the area of disability.
“The ministry has been doing its best to ensure effective implementation of the provisions of the Act.
“Some success stories abound and laudable achievements recorded through the activities of both the ministry and the National Commission for Persons with Disabilities (NCPWD).
“We are aware that we are not there yet, but we are not where we were decades ago, on disability related issues,” Sani-Gwarzo said.
Meanwhile, the Executive Secretary of NCPWD, Mr James Lalu, applauded President Muhammadu Buhari for ensuring that the disability community now had a commission, a workable law and a voice in the affairs of the country. (NAN)