By Oni Femi (INN), Ekiti
Disability Not A Barrier Initiative (DINABI) has on Tuesday 13th demanded for an inclusive budgeting in the state in favor of Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) during Its one-day town hall meeting on review of the Ekiti State 2023 Budget/Mobilising PWDs on Budget Tracking, Monitoring and Reporting.
In his welcome address, the Executive Director of DinabiNig, Engr Olajide Funso said “the workshop is aimed at mobilising PWDs in the state on budget tracking, monitoring and implementation”
While reiterating inability of PWDs to access public facilities, banks, hospitals in terms of creating ramps, provide sign language interpreters in public functions among others, he urged the state government to execute the 2023 budget for efficient service delivery.
He further said, “We are reviewing the Ekiti State 2023 budget relating to PWDs and we shall be mobilising the PWD communities in Ekiti State to track and monitor the budget implementation in Ekiti State especially those aspects that has to do with the accessibility of PWDs to public facilities and services in the state.
“We want to build the capacities of PWDs in terms of budget process, tracking and monitoring in the state and at the same time build their capacities to disability laws in Ekiti State, the National Disability Act in Nigeria especially those aspects that have to do with accessibility to public facilities.”
Mr Owolabi Kayode the Chairman of Joint National Association of Persons with Disabilities (JONAPWD) Ekiti State chapter said “It gladness my heart to talk about PWDs. We appreciate the government for approving six sign language interpreters in our state hospitals but it is not enough. Specific budget and efficient implementation is needed to tackle the challenges we are facing in our society.”
Chairman of Deaf Association, Elder Abiola Olusanmi, made reference to inability to explain his condition to the doctors after he sustained a terrible accident years back as a result of unavailability of sign language interpreters.
Various Ministries, Departments and Agencies such as Office of Disability Affairs, Ministries of Works, Women Affairs, and others are urged to comply with provisions of accessibility in public facilities and services.