DRAC to FG: Inaccurate data affecting planning, PWDs’ welfare


The Disability Rights Advocacy Centre (DRAC) Wednesday urged the federal government to work towards collating accurate data on persons with disabilities (PWDs) in the country to ensure adequate planning for their welfare.

DRAC Executive Director Irene Patrick-Ogbogu made this known at the organisation’s annual media retreat on disability inclusion in Abuja.

She expressed concern over lack of adequate data on PWDs in the country, adding that the problem had hampered their proper inclusion in the schemes of things in the country.

Patrick-Ogbogu said the retreat was focused on three issues bothering the PWDs, adding that the first had to do with the strengthening the implementation of the Disability Act.

The second, she said, is on promoting the use of assistive technology and devices for PWDs while the third was on disaggregated data.

She said there were a lot of data from census, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) and National Population Commission out there but zero of them were disaggregated by disability.

“So you don’t know how many PWDs are in service, you don’t know how many are in certain location, you don’t know where they live or whether they have access to employment.

“If you do not know these things, you cannot plan, because you cannot say you are planning when you don’t know how many women with disability would need to access healthcare.

“You cannot say you need to plan for education and you don’t know how many children with disability are out of schools,’’ she said.

Patrick-Ogbogu said there was also need for the media to beam its searchlight on the issue of disability disaggregation data.

“How is the government collecting data, disaggregated by disability? Is it being used for planning and decision making? Those are some of the issues we will be looking at for this retreat,” she stated.

She said there is need to strengthen the implementation of the Disability Act, as well as strengthen the operation of the Disability Commission to make it visible to stakeholders.

Patrick-Ogbogu stated further that there was need for relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to play their respective roles to strengthen the commission by fast tracking implementation of the Disability Act.

“DRAC has been doing this through the media and we hope to help in popularising the Act to let people know all about it and their respective roles,” she said.