ActionAid wants government to invest more in infrastructure, public service for PWDs

ActionAid Nigeria, on Friday called on the Government to invest more in infrastructure and also provide public service for Persons With Disabilities (PWDs)

Mrs Ene Obi, Country Director, ActionAid Nigeria, made the appeal in a message to mark the 2021 International Day for Persons With Disabilities (PWDs).

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the theme for the 2021 anniversary is “Leadership and Participation of Persons with Disabilities Towards an Inclusive, Accessible and Sustainable Post-COVID-19 World.”

The day aims to promote the rights and well-being of persons with disabilities in all spheres of society and development, and to increase awareness of the situation of persons with disabilities in every aspect of political, social, economic, and cultural life.

Obi said that ActionAid has been working on disability issues prior to 2015 when world leaders committed to achieving SDG4 to deliver equitable, inclusive, and quality education for all by 2030.

According to her, evidence-based approach to work over the years showcases challenges faced by Persons with Disability, one of which is the disability and gender gaps impacting on their participation in all spheres of life.

“The research revealed a broader exclusion for women who are subjected to harmful stereotypes.

“This means that whatever the challenge faced by Persons with Disability, women with disability suffer more and are subjected to double discrimination.

“Poverty and other challenges of exclusion undermine their dignity and places barriers of exclusion in the society,” she said.

Obi noted that children with disability in Nigeria suffer similar faith as women.

ActionAid’s research on Inclusive education showed that 95.5 per cent of children with disability are out of school because of their non-enrollment due to their condition.

Obi said that those who enrolled were less likely to complete their education compared to their peers.

“This is associated with over-crowded classrooms, inaccessible learning environment, lack of facilities to support their learning as teachers are unable to give them the required support.

These have huge impact on their ability to participate in leadership and overall development of the country,” Obi said.

The country director said that progress made in ratifying the Policy on Inclusive Education in Nigeria, current education resources are insufficient to achieve inclusive education;

ActionAid Nigeria commends the Federal Government on the establishment of the National Commission for Persons with Disability (NCPWD).

The aid agency, however, called for more investment in infrastructure and public services that account for the needs of this teeming population, and by extension, everybody’s need.

“Governments should ensure that PWDs participate equally and meaningfully in all processes; designing, legislating and budgeting for city planning and public transport.

“ActionAid Nigeria urges governments to leverage on additional revenue by closing tax loopholes and limiting unnecessary tax incentives to provide disability friendly public services including public transport.

“ActionAid will continue to work with PWDs to advocate for the rights, push for their inclusion, support the development of policies and budget for inclusive education”. Obi added. (NAN)