People with Disabilities (PWD) have appealed to states and the federal government to implement the five per cent PWD law which grants them access to employment opportunities.
The PWDs said ministries, departments and agencies of government do not respect the 5% law, even though many of them are university graduates and loyal citizens.
The group made the appeal at a 2-day town hall meeting with stakeholders on Access To Employment for PWD in Nigeria by the National Commission for Persons With Disabilities in the South-South.
Daniel Akpan, a person living with a disability, said, “We are not asking for too much. Don’t deny us the 5% employment slot. Many of us have Master’s degrees and are well-skilled. Even though the Discrimination Against Persons With Disabilities (Prohibition) Act 2018 has become law, yet, not many states have engaged us.”
Speaking at the event, the Acting Director of Compliance andEnforcement, at National Commission for PWD, Ikem Uchegbulam said they were moving round the country to sensitize people on the Act and how they will soon begin its enforcement for compliance.
“We will soon begin to invoke the powers available for us in the Act so that PWD will also benefit from jobs, appointments and placements.”
He said there are over one million PWDs in the country, according to World Bank, even though they are still collating the data. He called on the government in the South-South to make the law operational.
Earlier, the Executive Secretary of NCPWD, Mr James David Lalu represented by Ms Philomena Isioma from the South-South in the commission, said PWD should make themselves prepared for opportunities.
“PWD should utilise available opportunities to be able to be qualified for placements. They should upgrade their education, and be available for technical skill training. They should make their voices heard without violence.
“We are creating awareness for PWD to register and collect INEC permanent voter’s cards and also participate in politics.”
Head of Service in the state, Timothy Okwaji said they are already implementing the law, the state has passed the Bill into law. He said the 5% slot for PWD in the state is being adhered to.
The event had a theme, Employment: A Necessity for a better life for PWD, focused on the imperatives of Ministries, Departments and Agencies as well as private corporations to comply with sections 28 and 29 of the Discrimination Against PWD (Prohibition) Act 2018 which requires that 5% allotments be reserved for PWD as well as the intention to enforce it.
Am Umar Bakwai an then am person with disability am handicap