Mr James Lalu, the Executive Secretary, National Commission for Persons with Disabilities (NCPWD) on Wednesday unveiled the Nigerian Disability Partnership Group (NDPG) to coordinate implementation of the commission’s five-year Strategic Development Plan.
Speaking during the unveiling in Abuja, Lalu said, Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) form 15 per cent of Nigeria’s population.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that members of the Group’s Secretariat include, Mr Abba Isawa as Coordinator, Adewale Olasoji Ebenezer in charge of PRS, Mrs Olanike Akinbola, Head of Women and Gender and Ikem Uchegbulam.
Others are Mariam Saleh Hassan as Legal Adviser, James Hassan as Director Human Resource, Haruna Mohammed as Technical Adviser, Fatima Doki Abubakar and Maria Kamba.
According to him, the current needs in the disability community is very high, adding that the Commission is committed to promote disability inclusive development.
“The coming together of the World Bank (WB), Foreign and Common Wealth Office of the British High Commission and Sight Savers to form the NDPG is very important to us as a community.
“The partners are ready and willing to provide all the necessary technical and financial support to support the Commission to enable us achieve the long, short and medium term target as we set in our five year Strategic Development Plan
“The partners have already shown their commitment; we welcome them with the the beautiful idea and it is a very important thing for us as an institution to set the pace; that is why we are setting up a secretariat here and the secretariat has been inaugurated.
“One.of the functions of the Secretariat is to ensure the implementation of the five year Strategic Development Plan, then bringing the total commitment of everybody on disability in Nigeria, whether local or international,” Lalu said.
He explained that the secretariat would also carry out activities to be able to provide data on what is happening in the disability community, including the impact, beneficiaries and many others.
Lalu added that ten per cent slot in the National Social Investment Programme has been allocated to the disability community, adding that the commission is working to fill up the slot.
“We are also working on so many areas to benefit PWDs and that is why this Group is inaugurated today”.
Also speaking, Dr Adebukola Adebayo, the Technical Assistant of the Group from.the World Bank said disability is a multi-sectoral issue, adding that it cut across all aspects of life.
He said there are a lot of international development partners, Civil Society Organisations and organised private sectors, working across sectors such as Education, Agriculture, health, transportation and others.
According.to Adebayo, it is important to harmonise these efforts, stressing that the NCPWD, WB, Foreign and Common Wealth Office in the British High Commission and Sight Savers came together to set up the NDPG.
“The primary goal is to provide technical and financial support to the Commission, to meet its mandate across all these sectors.
” So in the long run, the whole idea is to ensure that whatever is done in the support of PWDs are documented and harmonised to avoid duplication, waste of resources and unnecessary competition.
“To also ensure consolidation and complementarity of efforts across the sectors. That is the major goal the NDPG is set up to achieve.
“The secretariat of the NDPG is domicile at the Commission and run by it staff, but with the technical and other form of support from development partners,” he said.