Home Disability News NGO Advocates 1% Budget Provision For PWDs

NGO Advocates 1% Budget Provision For PWDs

by Inclusive News Network
Published: Last Updated on

The Centre for Ability, Rehabilitation and Empowerment (CARE) has advocated one per cent budget provision for Persons With Disabilities (PWDs) from the federal and state governments.

CARE made the call on Friday during a two-day National Co-creation Stakeholders Conference for PWDs of the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in Abuja.

The theme of the programme is: “The Disability Act Post-Moratorium: Advancing Inclusion and Accessibility for those Vulnerable and Outside the Margin”.

Dr Chike Okogu, the Founder and Chief Responsibility Officer of CARE, said this had been an international movement right from the level of United Nations Commission (UNC) on the rights for PWDs, which Nigeria was a signatory to.

According to Okogu, It is not a law here in Nigeria.

“But we are saying that if 15 per cent of your people are persons with disabilities, it means that not including 15 per cent of your population, you are short changing yourself by 15 per cent workforce and that reduces your GDP by 15 per cent.

“So, instead of saying we want 15 per cent of the National budget, we are saying we want just one per cent of the National budget for PWDs in the country”.

The Programme Manager of Cognito, Kaseina Dashe, said the community came together and launched a document called The Compass to Disability Inclusion (CDI) aimed at providing information about the simplified Disability Act, passed in 2018.

Dashe said the event was a build-up to initial conversations of when the bill and disability act was passed into law.

She said that the act gave a five-year moratorium grace period for all public buildings to become accessible for certain conditions to be put in place in order to enhance access and inclusion of PWDs in Nigeria.

She explained that the five-year period of grace had elapsed, adding that every public building was supposed to have modified its physical structure for accessibility.

“It is a build-up to those initial conversations to say when the Disability Bill was passed into law, it gave a five-year moratorium period for all public buildings to become accessible. And for certain conditions to put in place and enhance the access and inclusion of persons with disability and that period elapsed in January this year. So, we are asking now that it has elapsed, what next? how do we begin to hold governments accountable? How do we begin to hold institutions accountable? She asked.

Akom Nya, the VOICE Project Coordinator for Nigeria said that the organisation was looking at how more persons with disabilities would be included in decision-making process of Nigeria.

“we are looking out for how more persons with disability can be included in the decision-making process of Nigeria, in the economic situation of Nigeria, where they are empowered to sustain themselves.

“These are people that need to be integrated into the society and included in what we are doing like politics, economic empowerment, political positions and party leadership.

“It is very important that everyone is brought to the table because once we do not include everyone we are depleting the workforce of the nation and of course we do not want anybody to be left behind. We just want the voice of every marginalised community to be heard. We just want a society where everybody can live without inequalities, without hindrances and barriers. That is just our interest,” he said.

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