Centre for citizens with Disabilities has tasked Federal Ministry of Aviation to speedily investigate increasing human rights violations against persons with disabilities by airline operators in Nigeria with the view of bringing perpetrators to book.
The director, David Anyaele disclosed this when he led a team of delegation to pay an advocate visit to the office of Minister of Aviation, Mr. Hadi Sirika on Tuesday.
According to him “we want elimination of all forms of violence against citizens with disabilities at the airports through implementation of Section 1 which stated that a person with disability shall not be discriminated against on the ground of his disability by any person or institution in any manner or circumstance whatsoever.
In his words “We urge for the full implementation of the Discrimination against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Act 2018.
“All airlines operating in Nigeria shall ensure the accessibility of their aircraft to persons with disabilities, make available presentable and functional wheelchairs for the conveyance of persons with disabilities who need it to and from the aircraft, ensure that persons with disabilities are assisted to get on and off board in safety and reasonable comfort and also ensure that persons with disabilities are accorded priority while boarding and disembarking from the aircraft.
“We need #Accessible Airports, in line with the provisions of sections 4 and 5 of the Discrimination against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Act 2018, in particular mobile wheelchair lifters in all our airports across the Federation for easy access to and from aircraft, as more than 95% of the airports in Nigeria are not accessible to persons with disabilities.
“In addition to the above, implement section 28 and 29 of the Discrimination against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Act which provides for right to work and opportunity for employment. In fact, section 29 provides that all employers of labour in public organisations shall as much as possible have person with disabilities constituting at least 5% of their employment.
“We are requesting that you use your influence to ensure that an audit of your Ministry Staff strength is conducted to ensure that 5% of the Staff capacity of your Ministry is reserved for citizens with disabilities.
“We would like to partner with the Federal Ministry of Aviation to build the capacity of Senior Ministry officials on the Discrimination against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Act 2018. This is to enhance the full implementation of the Act and service delivery of the Ministry on persons with disabilities.
In his response, the Minister, Hon. Hadi Sirika assured that he will ensure the availability of accessible facilities like; ramp, wheelchair and accessible toilets at the airports for easy access to persons with disabilities.
The Minister also noted that an audit would be conducted in the Ministry to ensure adequate compliance to the provision of the Act to ensure that 5% of the Staff capacity of the Ministry is reserved for citizens with disabilities.
Hon. Sirika also commended CCD for its efforts in advancing for PWDs in the country.