The Minister for Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster and Social Development,( HADMSD) says the ministry will ensure total inclusion of people living with disabilities in the national policy framework.
Farouq, represented by HADMSD’s Community Development Officer, Mr Uchenna Onah, said this at a workshop organised by the National Commission for Persons living with Disabilities (NCPWD) in Jos on Monday.
She said the workshop, tagged ‘Sensitisation: a necessity for ensuring full compliance with the law’, was timely and a good way to sensitise the public to the National Disability Prohibition Act.
“I want to appreciate the NCPWD for its initiative to organise this zonal awareness workshop and media engagement on the provision of the Discrimination Against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Act 2018.
“As you may be aware, Nigeria as a member nation of the United Nations, signed and ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of persons with disabilities and its Optional Protocol on March 30, 2007 and Sept. 24, 2010.
“By this, the country is committed to ensuring the promotion and protection of the rights of millions of Nigerians living with one form of disability or the other.
“We have since commenced the process of domestication of the convention for several years, with various administrations.
“The Discrimination Against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Act 2018, which was signed by President Muhammadu Buhari in 2019, was a milestone in the struggle for inclusion and integration of persons with disabilities into the mainstream of the society.
“The ministry would in its own small way ensure the total inclusion of persons with disabilities in the nation at large,” she said.
Farouq said the ministry would continue to do its best at ensuring that more awareness and sensitisation were created on the Act, as well as judicious implementation of its provisions carried out.
She said the ministry would achieve this through active collaborations with all stakeholders and would intensify eftorts in the formulation of disability specific policies and guidelines based on the Act.
According to her, the others are mainstreaming disability into the ministry’s policies and legal frameworks, more advocacies to MDAs of government, intensified efforts to popularise the Act at sub-national levels.
“Collaborating with media and other partners, more strategic media engagement and communication, among others.
” NCPWD’s Executive Secretary, Mr James Lalu, charged people living with disabilities to embrace the Act as a tool for them to defend themselves anytime their rights were being infringed upon.
Ladu, represented by Mrs Esther Awu-Andrew, the commission’s North Central representative, said that the sensitisation should be carried out in collaboration with the Ministry of Information for enhanced wide publicity.
He called on the security agencies to employ people living with disabilities into the force whom he said could become teachers to officers who might become disabled in active service.
He further called on government to ensure that at least 5 per cent of the workforce employed to serve in various agencies were people living with disabilities.
According to Mr Uche Uchegbulam, the commission’s Director, Compliance and Enforcement, any law that is not complied with is as good as not enforced in the first place.
Uchegbulam noted that the prohibition Act was meant to protect the rights of the disabled in the society which he said had not been fully complied with accross the nation.
He commended the Plateau government for being the first to domesticate and ensure that the law was complied with. (NAN)