The Federal Government has restated its readiness to work with the deaf and all persons with disabilities to ensure that their rights, inclusion and participation in the society were given utmost priority.
Hajya Sadiya Farouq, Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, reaffirmed this on Wednesday in Abuja at an event to celebrate the International Day for Sign Languages.
The International Day for Sign Languages is celebrated every year since 2017. The day is marked alongside the International Week of the Deaf (IWD), from 21 to 26 Sept.
The purpose of the Day, among others, is to promote linguistic identity and culture of deaf people all over the world.
The theme for this year’s celebration is “Reaffirming Deaf People’s Human Right”.
Farouq explained that the ministry was leading the struggle for the establishment of the Nigeria Disability Commission to meet the yearnings and aspirations of all People Living With Disabilities (PLWDs).
“Let me assure you once again that the federal government, through the ministry, will leave no stone unturned in the efforts to ensure that all PLWDs in Nigeria are carried along in governance.
“This can be achieved by removing all the barriers that hitherto posed as hindrance to effective functioning of PLWDs,” Farouq said.
Speaking earlier, Mr Chidi Oluije, Secretary General, National Association of the Deaf, pleaded with the minister to pay more attention to issues affecting the association.
“We thank you so much for working with us in reaffirming the rights of disabled people in Nigeria.
“The WHO says we have more than 10 million deaf people. It shows there is need to have a sign language for easy communication with everyone, whether disabled or not.
“We need partnership with the ministry in all our activities. I also want to use this medium to beg the minister to send a representative to an event we are holding next week.
“This will give us a sense of belonging,” Oluije stressed.