By Kehinde Akintola
The House of Representatives on Thursday urged President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to allocate 10% of appointive positions for persons with disabilities in Nigeria.
The resolution was passed sequel to the adoption of a motion seeking to ensure that Mr. President enforces the provision of the Discrimination Against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Act, 2018, as sponsored by Hon. Kafilat Ogbara.
The lawmaker who expressed concern over the fate of the persons with Disabilities across the country, recalled that the Discrimination against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Act, 2018 was enacted into law with a view to ensure that the rights of persons with disabilities in Nigeria are safeguarded.
“The House also notes that Section 6 of the Act provides that from the commencement of the Act, there shall be a transitory period of five years within which all public buildings and structures, whether immovable, movable or automobile, which were inaccessible to persons with disabilities shall be modified to be accessible and usable by persons with disabilities including those on wheelchairs.
“The House further notes that Section 29 of the Act provides that all employers of labour in public organisations shall, as much as possible, have persons with disabilities constituting at least 5% of their employment.
“The House is aware that the five years transitory period provided under Section 6 of the Discrimination against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Act, 2018 has lapsed, hence the need for full implementation of the Act.
“The House is concerned that like every human being, people with disabilities have fundamental human rights and it is the duty of the government to ensure that these rights are respected, protected and fulfilled,” she noted.
The House also tasked the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Senator George Akume to direct the Head of Service of the Federation and Federal Ministries, Departments and Agencies of Governments to adhere strictly to the provisions of Section 29 of the Discrimination against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Act, 2018, by providing 10% of jobs available for the persons with disabilities in Nigeria;
The House further urged all relevant security agencies to commence full enforcement of the provisions of the aforesaid Act.
In her remarks, Hon. Beni Lar urged the joint Committees (when constituted) to ensure the percentage of employment opportunities reserved for people with disabilities during employment processes as captured in the Act is not flaunted.
On his part, Hon. Rotimi Oluwaseun tasked the SGF to establish an inter-Ministerial Task Force to ensure the status of the Act is fully adhered to and that the deadline of the transitional law is met.
To this end, the House mandated the joint Committees on Human Rights, Public Service, Disabilities and Legislative Compliance (when constituted) to ensure implementation.