Hon. Dr. Bashiru Ayinla Dawodu, chairman, House of Representative Committee on Disability, has assured of the committee’s commitment to ensure full implementation of the Nigerians with Disabilities Act, 2018, UN CRPD & SDGs, 2030 Agenda alongside the Renewed Hope Agenda of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, H.E. Ahmed Bola Tinubu.
He made the commitment during a courtesy visit by Centre for Advocacy for Persons with Disabilities (CAPWD) lead by the Executive Director, Omotunde Ellen Thompson at his office in Abuja.
In a resolute commitment to empower and uplift Nigerians with disabilities, the House Standing Committee on Disability, chairman, Hon. Dr. Bashiru Ayinla Dawodu, representing Oshodi-Isolo of Lagos State, has embarked on a mission to ensure the comprehensive implementation of the Nigerians with Disabilities Act, 2018, the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), 2030 Agenda. This endeavor is being undertaken in conjunction with President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s Renewed Hope Agenda
The administration of His Excellency, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has taken on numerous challenges, including insecurity, kidnapping, terrorism, and community unrest. It has been recognized that a significant contributing factor to these challenges is the neglect of Nigerians with Disabilities, who often suffer traumas that lead to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), an invisible psychological disability. President Tinubu’s Renewed Hope Agenda aims to address these challenges and provide hope for all Nigerians, especially the vulnerable.
To strengthen and facilitate the Renewed Hope Agenda, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Tajudeen Abbas, unveiled 134 different Standing Committees, including the Standing Committee on Disability. Hon. Dr. Bashiru Ayinla Dawodu and Hon. Adamu Sani, both dedicated to improving the lives of disabled Nigerians, were appointed to lead this unique committee.
The House Standing Committee on Disability, led by Hon. Dr. Dawodu, has wasted no time in fulfilling its constitutional legislative oversight fiduciary duties. This proactive approach is aimed at finding holistic sustainable solutions to the challenges hindering the successful implementation of the Discrimination Against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Act, 2018, under the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities mandate.
The committee is also committed to initiating reasonable reforms that will bolster the Commission for Persons with Disabilities and align it with President Ahmed Bola Tinubu’s Renewed Hope Agenda.
In addition to addressing legislative and policy reforms, the committee suggested that there is an urgent need for Joint National Association of Persons with Disabilities (JONAPWD) in Nigeria to realign with the guidelines of Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC). This should be carried out after rigorous investigating of allegations of multiple misconduct(s) and gross disobedience which has been happening since 2008 till date.
A significant step in this commitment was the High-Level Round-table meeting on September 5th, 2023, with Miss Omotunde Ellen Thompson, Chairperson Board of Trustees (BoT) and Pioneer/Co-Founder of JONAPWD. Miss Thompson, recognized as Nigeria’s PWDs Lifelong “Godmother of Disability Civil Rights & Advocacy MOVEMENT,” represented the voices of JONAPWD leaders from 36 States/FCT and Diasporas, including Chairpersons, Secretaries, Women Leaders, and Wounded Military Veterans, Police, Civil Defense, ICPC, DSS, EFCC and all other law Enforcement Agents, who suffered from Physical and PTSD or Mental Disabilities.
Miss Thompson emphasized that the primary impediment to the well-being of over 31 million Nigerians with Disabilities under JONAPWD is the lack of proper implementation of existing laws governing their operations, especially the lack of compliance with the 2008 JONAPWD Constitution and CAC guidelines. Other laws includes the Discrimination Against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Act, 2018 (Nigerians with Disabilities Act, 2018), UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), Disability-Inclusive Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), 2030 Agenda, and more.
In response, Hon. Dr. Dawodu pledged to use the committee’s constitutional legislative oversight fiduciary duties to amend the Discrimination Against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Act, 2018, in alignment with the UN CRPD mandates. He also committed to ensuring that the National Commission for Persons with Disabilities (NCPD) adheres to the provisions of the National Assembly’s Discrimination Against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Act, 2018. Also, he emphasize on the need of persons with disabilities to adhere to rule of law and order in the discharged of their duties, while under his committee, he will live to protect and promote the rights of over 31millions Nigerian with disability, irrespective of political affiliation, type of disability, nationality, religion and state of origin.
Hon. Dr. Dawodu also promised to enhance awareness creation of the 5% employment reservation my MDAs and private sectors, so that persons with disabilities who are qualified can be gainfully employed. This will go along way to reduced poverty among the disable community in Nigeria.
Furthermore, Hon. Dr. Dawodu stressed the importance of reforming and restructuring the Joint National Association of Persons with Disabilities (JONAPWD-National) without delay. This includes full compliance with the National Assembly’s 2020 R-enacted & repealed Company and Allied Matters Act of the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) and the JONAPWD 2008 Constitution.
Finally, Hon Dr Dawodu, vowed to use his oversight constitutional powers to ensure that the history of Discrimination Against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Act 2018, under the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons as implemented by the National Commission of Persons with Disabilities in Nigeria is collected, written and documented for future generation.
The House Standing Committee on Disability says “it is dedicated to achieving inclusivity and empowerment for Nigerians with Disabilities and is determined to contribute to the success of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s Renewed Hope Agenda”.