Nigeria’s Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development said it will continue to work towards a disability-friendly policy.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Dr Nasir Sani-Gwarzo stated this at an event to celebrate Youth and children with Disabilities in Abuja, Nigeria.
Represented by the Director of Humanitarian in the Ministry, Alhaji Grema Ali, Sani-Gwarzo said the Ministry considered it necessary to celebrate Youths and Children with Disabilities in the FCT to ensure that issues relating to the well-being of the children are constantly brought to the front burner of national attention and actions.
“Although, a lot has been achieved in the implementation of the Child Right Act and Discrimination Against Persons With Disabilities (Prohibition) Act, 2018, however, much still needed to be achieved.”
Dr Sani-Gwarzo the, therefore, challenged stakeholders to brainstorm on ways of improving the quality of life and inclusion of PWDs in Nigeria.
He also pledged Government continuous support in ensuring that activities meant to improve the well-being of Persons With Disabilities are given utmost priority.
The Director of the Special Needs Department in the Ministry, Mr Chogudo Sule said the event was a clear demonstration of the Ministry’s commitment to seeing that Persons With Disabilities in Nigeria are identified, included and celebrated.
“As a society, it is our utmost responsibility to allow people with disabilities to experience the life they deserve. Disability awareness helps society to know about disability issues, and disabled people’s lives and corrects inaccurate ideas about disabled people thereby subsiding the stereotypical mindset of the society, hence providing vast opportunities for everyone to get involved in creating a positive, inclusive society for all”.
“Today’s occasion aimed at achieving the following objectives: To promote actions targeted at raising awareness about disability-related issues; To increase awareness on Children With Special Needs/Disabilities in our communities; To move forward the issue of disabilities, to preserve the lives of Nigerians; and making the world know that there is ability in disability.”
The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Women Affairs, Mrs Monilola Udoh said the theme for the 2023 Children’s Day “More Money for Primary Education” speaks to the need to amplify the needs of people living with disabilities.
“With a view to galvanizing efforts of all relevant stakeholders to ensure the wellbeing of children with special needs with particular attention to providing adequate funding and budget lines for their education.”
She noted that education is a fundamental right of every child as articulated in the National Policy on Education.
“This means that progress in the enrolment, retention and completion of children with special needs cannot be overemphasized if we must realize the Sustainable Development Goals Agenda 2030 for inclusive and equitable quality education.
“The Federal Ministry of Women Affairs in line with its mandate to ensure the right of every child, is working assiduously with relevant stakeholders to ensure that children with special needs are always included in the plans, programmes and activities for inclusiveness and equity according to relevant and extant laws and also in the spirit of leaving no one behind.
“Furthermore, the Ministry in line with the overall goal of the National Priority Agenda for Vulnerable Children in Nigeria has made tremendous progress in improving the quality of life and total well-being of the Nigerian Child through reducing child vulnerability and child poverty, and overcoming the significant inequities in the country,” Udoh explained.
She affirmed the Ministry’s commitment to all matters relating to the total well-being and development of the Nigerian child and also provide an enabling environment that will ensure the holistic development of the potential of the Nigerian child through well-articulated policies, projects and programmes that would enhance the quality of lives of children.