By Chukwunyere Nwosu (INN), Abuja
The Federal Government has inaugurated the Nigeria Partnership for Disability Inclusive Development (NIPDID) on Monday in Abuja, to improve the quality of life for Persons with Disability in Nigeria through harmonious integration of programmes and projects to facilitate effective coordination of various interventions for PWDs.
The Honourable Minister of the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development represented by Dr Nasir Sani-Gwarzo, Permanent Secretary to the Ministry, said during his keynote address that the project is aligned with the Federal Government’s commitment to intensify efforts and activities to improve the lives of Persons with Disabilities.
The Minister stated that the Ministry has approved and implemented a minimum of 10% affirmation and inclusion of PWDs in all programmes and projects.
“This is indeed a very great milestone in making life better for PWDs in Nigeria, it is however discouraging that some local and international organizations providing interventions on disability-inclusive development in Nigeria do so without coordination or recognition of the role of NCPWD and the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development.
“We will continue to honor and respect all our international treaty obligations, including signing the African Protocol on Disabilities by year’s end. The NCPWD will continue to play key roles in the coordination of all interventions and regulatory functions related to disability in the country in order to improve the living standards of PWDs.”
The Executive Secretary of the NCPWD, Mr James David Lalu in his remark, said the formation of the Nigeria Partnership for Disability-Inclusive Development is a commendable initiative. On behalf of over 35.5 million Nigerians with disabilities, Mr. Lalu expressed his gratitude to OPDs and partners who worked for many years to support the disability community.
Additionally, Shubham Chaudhuri, Country Director of the World Bank Nigeria, and Elizabeth Drew, Head of Governance and Stability at the British High Commission in Nigeria, reaffirmed their commitment to the disability community.
Mrs Esther Bature, Country Advocacy Coordinator of Sightsavers, noted that awareness increased after the Discrimination against PWDs Prohibition Act and establishment of NCPWD.
“However, this group, which is being inaugurated today, will help the commission coordinate and also help partners complement each other and minimize duplication.”
Bature said Sightsavers are pleased that NCPWD has developed a five-year development plan which partners will also be able to key into it. “Sightsavers is proud to be part of this initiative and will continue to support the commission,”
The event attracted officials from the World Bank, British High Commission in Nigeria, Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Sightsavers, Leprosy Mission, Save the Children, National Society of the Blind and many other relevant stakeholders.