The Executive Director, Centre for Citizens with Disabilities, David Anyaele, has called for domestication of Disability Act in 17 Nigerian states.
Anyaele made the call in a statement issued on Saturday in commemoration of the international day of persons with disabilities. The theme for this year is “Transformative Solutions for Inclusive Development: The Role of Innovation in Fueling an Accessible and Equitable World.“
The 17 states listed are Akwa Ibom, Adamawa, Bayelsa, Benue, Borno, Delta, Ebonyi, Enugu, Imo, Ogun, Osun, Katsina, Kebbi, Gombe, Rivers, Taraba, and Yobe States.
Anyaele charged the State governments to take appropriate measures to protect their citizens with disabilities without further delay through the adoption of the Disability Act.
He also said the centre is impressed with state governments that have adopted the Discrimination against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Act 2018 or passed disability laws in their respective States.
“The last time we checked the following States have a law that protects their citizens with disabilities: North Central (Kogi, Kwara, Nasarawa, Niger, and Plateau States), Northeast (Bauchi State), Northwest (Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Sokoto and Zamfara States), Southeast (Abia, and Anambra States), Southsouth (Cross River, and Edo States) and Southwest (Ekiti, Lagos, Ondo, and Oyo States).
The Executive Director expressed concerns that; “Section 2 of the Disability Act, which provides that the Federal Ministry of Information shall make provisions for promotion of awareness regarding- (a) the rights, respect and dignity of persons with disabilities, (b) the capabilities, achievements and contributions of persons with disabilities to the society; this has not happened for four years after the passage of the Act.
“Line Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of the Federal and States governments are doing little or nothing to ensure the full implementation of the disability law.
“This is made obvious through the none prioritization of disability issues in budgetary provisions by 16 Federal MDAs responsible for disability affairs in Nigeria.
“This is made worse in States with a disability commission with little or no resources for operations, turning them into institutions of begging.
“Therefore, if the governments are not implementing the disability laws in the land, who will protect the rights of PWDs?” He queried.
David called on members of the Federal and States House of Assembly to demand for the budgetary provisions and activities from all Ministries, Departments, and Agencies for the full implementation of the Disability Law.