The General Manager of Lagos State Office of Disability Affairs (LASODA), Dr. Babatunde Awelenje has said that the Lagos State Government is already implementing most of the core 17 areas of needs indentified by the United Nations in this year’s theme to ameliorate the standard of living of people living with Disabilities, PLWDs.

In a statement made available by the Agency in commentation of 2016 International Day of People Living with Disabilities, Dr. Awelenje said that concerted efforts is being made by the present administration in the State to particularly improve the welfare of this category of persons as demonstrated in the launching of the “Disability Trust Fund” by the Governor Akinwumi Ambode recently with #500m.
Awelenje said the state government is also ensuring Inclusive and equitable quality education and promotion of learning opportunity for all in addition to promoting sustainable economic growth, building resilient infrastructure, promoting Inclusive and sustainable industrialization and fostering meaningful innovations among several others.
According to General Manager, “The Rights and privileges of PLWD are fully enshrined in the Lagos State Special People Law. It covers every facet of life including but not limited to free education in all state owned schools up to tertiary level, free medical care in state government medical facilities, free ride in government buses as well as reservation and right not to queue at public places.” 
Awelenje added that considering the daunting task of meeting the needs of every sector of the society, it’s expedient for the private sectors to also invest in the welfare of PLWDs in order for them to realise their full potentials and contribute to the overall development of the society.
He used the opportunity of the event to congratulate the Nigerian paralympians, most of whom are residents of the state, for doing the country proud at the recently concluded paralympic games in Rio Brazil.
“These paralympians, in spite of all odds, gave a five star performance which is a clear example of their dedication, determination and commitment to all activities and services engage in. It is more evident that the major incentive you can give PLWDs is your understanding and support to bring out the greatest potentials in them,” the GM noted.
The International Day of People Living with Disability is an annual event set aside by the United Nations in recognition of the plight being experienced by people living with disability in the course of carrying out their daily activities as well as the barriers they face as a result of social discriminations, neglect and other limitations by the society they live in. Yearly, the International body decides on a theme that forms a road map for countries all over the world that would assist in successfully executing Inclusive policies that would have positive impacts in the lives of PLWDs in their respective countries hence the theme for Y2016 “Achieving 17 Goals For The Future We Want”
Source: Audiolight magazine

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