Muslim Association of Visually Impaired of Nigeria (MAVIN) gives kudos to members of House of Representatives for voting to urge President Bola Tinubu to allocate 10 per cent of offices to persons with disabilities.
‘’We salut Kafilat Ogbara, member representing Kosofe Federal Constituency, for sponsoring the motion seeking to ensure Mr. President enforces the Discrimination Against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Act, 2018. ,
‘’Ogbara and her colleagues deserve accolades for demonstrating their passion and commitment for the persons with disabilities and the less privileged. They have not only proved to be true advocates of the rights of downtrodden, this action has given the persons with disabilities (PWDs) renewed confidence and trust in the readiness of lawmakers to ensure affairs of the vulnerable remain on the front burner.
‘’Discrimination against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Act, 2018, otherwise known as Disability Law, since its enactment, has not received attention. In fact, as testified to by Ogbara, the transitory period of five years within which all public buildings and structures, that are inaccessible to persons with disabilities, were expected to be modified to be accessible and usable for persons with disabilities, had lapsed.
‘’It should be noted in addition that the section which provides that “ employers of labour in public organisations shall reserve at least five per cent of their employment for persons with disability , is far from being adhered to.
‘’It is heartwarming the 10th Assembly has considered it imperative to empathise with persons with disabilities, by agreeing that, like every human being, people with disabilities have human rights and that it is the duty of the government to ensure these rights are respected and protected.
“The House has acknowledged the fact that the five years transitory period provided under Section 6 of the Discrimination against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Act, 2018 has lapsed, and is moving to realise its full implementation.
To practically demonstrate their sincere commitment to the realisation of the provisions of the act, The House consequently 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 Disabilities Act, by providing 10% of jobs available for the persons with disabilities in Nigeria.
The House also went on to urge relevant security agencies in the country to commence full enforcement of the provisions of the Act.
The House has forthwith mandated the joint Committees on Human Rights, Public Service, Disabilities and Legislative Compliance, when constituted, to ensure implementation of the Act.
MAVIN commends honourable members of the House of Representatives for the aforementioned steps taken to accentuate the importance of the law and its urgency. We hereby appeal to the House to follow up on the implementation and enforcement of the provisions of this Act, in order to ensure that there are no loopholes that could jeopardise the law, thereby frustrating the positive and forward looking steps that have just been taken of the Act.
In the same token, we are seeking the understanding and cooperation of members of the Red Chamber to emulate their colleagues in the Lower House by doing the needful to corroborate the efforts made so far.
We are also seizing this medium to call on Mr. President and his Executive Cabinet members, to yield to the supplications of the House of Representatives on behalf of persons with disabilities in Nigeria. We are filled with high optimism that, with this laudable action of the Lower Chamber, the present administration is on the path of transforming the lives of ordinary and helpless Nigerians positively.
It is however pertinent to underscore at this juncture that, the only way the provisions of the law can be implemented satisfactorily to meet the yearnings and expectations of persons with disability, is to carry along real representatives of the disabled in the process. Excluding the actual beneficiaries of the law in its implementation stage would only amount to rendering the entire exercise in futility, because it is only the wearer of the shoes that knows where it pinches.
We are also imploring relevant agencies and parastatals to ensure that employment opportunities are made available to persons with disabilities, based on the actual recommended percentage, and also that the bonafide and competent beneficiaries are allowed to enjoy the appointment opportunities reserved for them.
While we applaud members of the House on this development, we are assuring you of our goodwill and best wishes as we look forward in earnest to a fruitful outcome from the Presidency.