Home Disability News Group Calls For Inclusion of PWDs in Budget Planning

Group Calls For Inclusion of PWDs in Budget Planning

…says Oyebanji is a Pro-Disabilty Governor

by Inclusive News Network

Ekiti- A group, Disability Not a Barrier Initiative, (DINABI) has called for the inclusion of Persons with Disabilities (PWDs), in the process of budget planning and implementation in Ekiti State.

The body made the call, on Friday, in Ado-Ekiti at a one-day capacity building workshop for stakeholders, targeted at inclusive budget process and strategic advocacy for PWDs funded by Disability Rights Fund (DRF).

According to the Executive Director of DINABI, Mr Olajide Funso, “the aim is to strengthen the capacity of persons with disabilities in Ekiti State, Civil society organisation, media and other critical stakeholders in the aspect of budget process so as to be able to know the nitty-gritty around budget process.

“When you don’t know what you are advocating for, it would be so difficult for you to advocate for such things. So there’s the need for them to have their capacity built so that at the end of the day they would be able to know what to ask for.

“To ask for something from the Government, there are skills required to make it known and considered favourable to the Government. This is where the place of strategic advocacy comes in. We want to build the capacity of persons with disabilities in Ekiti around that area, so that when they are advocating to the Government on specific cases that would be able to know how to present it.

“We also want the State Government to carry us along while planning the State’s Budget so as to meet our needs accordingly.”

The Executive Director described Governor Biodun Oyebanji as a Pro-disability Governor, who is concerned about the affairs of PWDs through various recent acctions such as visits to special schools, donations, and employment.

“I think the relationship between PWDs in Ekiti and the government for now is cordial. The governor at the moment is a Pro-Disabilty Governor. Considering what he has done recently, visiting persons in Special School for the Blind in Ikere, making donations and employment of sign language interpreter to various schools and offices, employment of few numbers of disabilities as well.

“However, you know as humans we will continue to behave like ‘Oliver Twist’ and will continue to ask for more. We would continue to ask that the budget for people with disabilities should be increased and accessibility should be made possible to government buildings.”

Also, Chairman of the Joint National Association of Persons With Disabilities, JONAPWD, in Ekiti State, Mr Owolabi Kayode, argued that promises without action is dead, hence, imploring the government to consider PWDs by putting promises into actions.

However, Owolabi affirmed that the present administration has been supportive and has good intentions for PWDs, revealing that the governor’s planned meeting with the body is still in process.

He said: “The governor have good intentions for PWDs and good things for us. The government is trying and has plans for us that are yet to be unveiled.

“When he came to the school for the blind, we spoke and based on based on the proposals we have submitted, he asked that somebody should arrange for a meeting to attend to us and we have contacted the person to schedule the date for the appointment.”

A representative from the Ekiti State Office for Disabilities, Adeniran Nathaniel reiterated the commission’s commitment to continue to ensure that the voices of PWDs are heard in the state and their interests are duly recognized while urging members of the Disabilities Initiatives to collaborate effectively with the commission to propagate this.

Speaking for the Ekiti State Ministry of Budget and Economic Planning and Performance Management, Aluko Olashina stressed on the need for strengthened collaboration between the two recognised Disabilities initiatives in the state, DINABI and JONAPWD.

Speaking on behalf of Journalists in the state, Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, Ekiti State Council, Comrade Rotimi Ojomeyela, represented by the Secretary of the Union, Mr Kayode Babatuyi, reiterated the Union’s “unwavering” support for the initiative, assuring that issues concerning disabilities in the state would be given maximum attention.

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