From Chukwunyere Kelsey Nwosu (INN), Abuja
At a press conference on Monday, the Executive Secretary, National Commission for Persons with Disabilities, NCPWD, Mr James Lalu reaffirmed the commission’s commitment to include persons with disabilities in its activities.
Lalu stated that NCPWD is making lasting commitments to PWDs in line with the themes of the Global Disability Summit (GDS) 2022.
“In 2018, the Government of Nigeria committed to 7-key issues on disability at the GDS in London, hosted by the Government of the United Kingdom, Kenya, and the International Disability Alliance.
“One of such key commitments that has been achieved is the signing into law, Discrimination Against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Act 2018 known as the National Disability Act.
“As a result, the NCPWD has been established, and also the admonition of President Buhari to state governments to domesticate the law, has been implemented in about seven states.”
“Despite this progress, many of it’s commitments still need to be met and financed to ensure that the rights of PWDs, especially from marginalised groups, are protected and enforced globally,” Lalu said.
According to Lalu, the GDS offers a concrete mechanism for collecting new, ambitious, and widespread commitments which are critical to achieving real change for PWDs across the globe.
He said that the GDS 2022 was hosted by the Government of Norway, Ghana and the International Disability Alliance, Organisations of persons with disabilities (OPDs), led by the Joint National Association of PWDs with support from Sightsavers.
“The NCPWD is committed to capacity strengthening of organisations of PWDs.
“We are prepared to facilitate engagement with and in procedures review of emergencies to ensure disaster preparedness and responses to include PWDs, provision of shelters, food sanitation and hygiene services .
“Also, we are committed to inclusive education; to promote and strengthen the inclusive education system in Nigeria through policy implementation and teacher’s capacity building.
“It will include budget appropriation, effective monitoring, collection of disability data and provision of assistive devices to enhance quality education for all learners with disability,” Lalu said.
Meanwhile, the Country Director of SightSavers, Dr Sunday Ishiaku represented by Razaq Adekoya said in 2018 the Federal Government of Nigeria made some commitments at the GDS.
He said, “The National Commission for Persons with Disabilities is committed to designing and Implementing disability responsive projects and programs that fundamentally aim to strengthen and support leadership development.”
In his address to journalists yesterday at the NCPWD headquarters, Mr. Lalu said the commission is committed to working with development partners as well as using resources to achieve its goals.
In addition to this commitment, he reveals that the commission aims to support diverse groups of marginalized people with disabilities, including women, ethnic minorities, and indigenous groups.
He said Nigeria is committed to supporting initiatives and partnerships that encourage the media to portray persons with disabilities in a manner consistent with Convention for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).
“To transform the labour market system to be more inclusive of persons with disability through relevant employability, vocational and digital training for youth with disabilities.
“Nigeria is committed to an inclusive working environment that includes provisions of appropriate reasonable accommodation and development of accessible innovation for tomorrow’s world of work to address the digital gap and develop flexible work arrangements.
Earlier on, Director of Planning for Research and Statistics, Mr. Soji Adewale said Commissioner is working assiduously to ensure that persons with disabilities are included in all facets of human endeavours.
“We are saying that the issue of disability is everybody’s issue. Therefore, all of us need to work together and see that people with disabilities are included in all facets of human endeavour,” he said.