The Inclusive Friends Association (IFA) and National Commission of Persons with Disabilities, (NCPWD) have advocated for the prioritization of Persons with Disabilities, PWDs in Social Protection programmes in Nigeria.

This was the submission of both groups during the strategy retreat with NCPWD organized by IFA under its ‘Social Protection: Include Me’ Project, with support from Save the Children International.

While giving her opening remarks, Grace Jerry, Executive Director, IFA, said the retreat was conveyed with the aim of ensuring that disability issues are mainstreamed in Social Protection Programmes, Policies and Interventions in Nigeria.

Grace Jerry, Executive Director, Inclusive Friends Association

Jerry highlighted that, “we are here to develop realistic achievements on Social Protection in Nigeria, taking into cognizance the needs of PWDs as they needed to be targeted by Social Protection.”

“If we understand what SP is, it will go a long way to address the issues being faced by a community of over 30 million people in the country,” she added.

Saheed Mustapha, Senior Policy and Advocacy Advisor, SCI explained that the retreat is to support the NCPWD “to discharge its mandate”.

He added that, “this commission is as a result of long advocacy, and it is important that it is able to discharge its mandate.”

Saheed Mustapha, Senior Policy and Advocacy Advisor, SCI

Speaking on the importance of Social Protection, Mustapha stressed that, “Social Protection helps populations in nations of the world to exit poverty line and it should be an integral part of every development component of every nation.”

James Lalu, the Executive Secretary, NCPWD appreciated the conveners of the retreat, stressing that he has further enlightened on Social Protection.

James Lalu, Executive Secretary, NCPWD

“SP must be mainstreamed into issues of PWDs, to achieve this, we will work closely with relevant agencies of government.”

He also added that the commission will make adequate provision for SP for PWDs in its budget for 2022.

On his part, Dr. Adebukola Adebayo, disability-inclusive while making a presentation titled, ‘Disability Act – Finding Opportunities to Strengthen Social Protection’, said, “whatever Social Protection programmes that are being rolled out, it must take into cognizance the diversity of PWDs as regards to age, gender and class.”

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