By Chimezie Godfrey
The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar Farouq has said that the creation of the National Commission for Persons with Disabilities some few months ago will address the issues affecting PWDS in Nigeria.
The Minister made this assertion at an an event to mark the 2020 International Day of Persons with Disabilities, in Abuja.
She said, “To demonstrate the commitment of the government towards the rights and well-being of Persons with Disabilities, His Excellency, Muhammadu Buhari, recently appointed the Executive Secretary, other Board members and full commencement of the Commission for Persons with Disabilities.
“The Commission is vested with the responsibilities for the education, health, social, economic and civil right of PWDs. This will help in no small measure in promoting the participation of PWDs in all aspects of life and their aspiring to leadership and decision making position”.
“Intervention for PWDs coordinated by the Ministry include publications and sensitisation on the rights of PWDs, Nigeria Farm Craft Centre for the Blind in Lagos, Braille Press/Library Centre in each of the Six Geo-Political Zones, activities marking the International Day of Persons with Disabilities December 3rd of every year; White-cane Day-October 15 of every year; World Leprosy Day- last Sunday in January; and World Autism Day- April 2nd of every year.
“Others are the distribution of palliatives to PWDs in Karmajiji, Yangoji and other PWDs settlement areas within FCT during the COVID-19 lockdown.
Farouq commended all stakeholders and partners for collaborating with the Ministry on issues relating to PWDs.
“We will continue to count on you for more collaboration towards achieving our common goal” she added.
Earlier, the Minister of State for Education, Emeka Nwajiuba mentioned that the Federal government is committed to providing a conducive learning environment for the PWDs as the ministry of education is retooling Schools to provide for the physically challenged in the society as well as update the online access to education from the realities presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.
In his remark, the Executive Secretary, National Commission for Persons with Disabilities, James Lalu, said since independence, Persons with Disabilities have never had it so good,
“It is the first of it’s kind in Nigeria. The creation of the Commission for PWDs and distribution of palliatives to PWDs during the COVID-19 lockdown is highly commendable” he added.
He applauded the efforts of the Minister towards the promotion of the plight of PWDs in the country.
Order dignitaries at the event include Minister of State, Finance, Budget and Planning, Clem Agba, Representative of Minister of Agriculture, Ola Akeju; Representative of Minister of Women Affairs, Hauwa Mustapha, and Representative of Minister of Interior.
Others are Chief Executives of Agencies under the Ministry, Heads of clusters of PWDs, MTN, Daughters of Charity, Florence Emmanuel, SightSavers, ROLAC and other stakeholders and partners.