Tue. May 21st, 2024


The Chairman, House Committee on Disability Matters, Rep. Bashiru Dawodu said, the House of Representatives, within six months have  passed six motions for Persons With Disabilities (PWDs).
Dawodu made this known in his address at the National Disability Convening on Monday in Abuja.
The Convening with the theme, ” “Reflecting on Progress, Evaluating the Implementation of the Disability Act in Nigeria” was put together by Ford Foundation in collaboration with National Commission for Persons with Disabilities (NCPWD)
Dawodu commended the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rep. Tajudeen Abbas for approving the presence of Sign Language Interpreter in the parliament, adding that this is the first time in Nigeria and Africa.
“This is a testimony that when activism is persistent, you get results; it is because of the efforts of the disability community ttha you get the results.
“This is the first time in the house that within six months, we already moved six motions for PWDs. Also, there are two bills currently before the committee; amendment of the Disability Act and reenactment of the Act.
“I want to let you know that the folks in the House are working for the disability community. The moratorium is over now, and there is a serious efforts in terms of implementing compliance of the Act,” Dawodu stressed.
Also speaking the Executive Secretary of NCPWD, Mr James Lalu appreciated Ford Foundation and DRAC for theirr efforts in the Convening.
According to him, the Disability Act is a product of the unity of the Disability Community in the country which struggled for 19 years for the bill to see the light of the day.
“We have seen the commitment of President Bola Tinubu via signing the ratification treaty and increased in bugetory allocation to the NCPWD. We have never had it so good.
“We are here to delibrate on the implementation of the Act and for the Commission to know where we have reached, yet to reached and harmonize 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.
Similarly, Senior Programme Officer of Ford Foundation Dr Dabesaki Mac-Ikemenjima part why the Foundation is in the programme was to look back to what it has done in the last five years in the area of disability.
According to Mac-Ikemenjima, there is a paucity of data on disability in Nigeria.
“I think a lot of data that is 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 institutions responsible would be able to collect accurate data and hopefully lead to a point where there will be accurate disaggregated data,” Mac-Ikemenjima said.
Meanwhile, Dr Chike Okogwu, the Executive Director of Centre for Ability, Rehabilitation and Empowerment (CARE) advocate for more funding to PWDs through NCPWD.
According to him, without funding, the implementation of the Disability Act will not be done effectively.
“Looking at the numbers of PWDs, it  may be necessary to call on development partners, donors and others to come and support the Federal Government in doing this, because, there other things begging for government’s attention.
“There should be a delibrate action good enough to make the Commission work better.. It is not enough to establish Disability Commission. Please provide adequate funding for NCPWD, and that way, we can do more to support PWDs”, Okogwu said.
News Agency of Nigeria reports that the Convening brought together personalities from Ministry Information and National Orientation, Ministry of Labour and Productivity, disability community and other relevant stakeholders (NAN)

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