FG reiterates commitment to promotion of welfare of PLWDs

In commemoration of the 2020 International Day of Persons With Disabilities (IDPWDs) with the theme “Building back better: toward a disability-inclusive, accessible and sustainable post COVID-19 world”, the federal government has reiterated its commitment towards the promotion of the welfare of Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) in Nigeria.

Speaking Thursday in Abuja, during the grand finale of events organised by the ministry in marking the 2020 IDPWDs, the minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajia Sadiya Umar Farouq, said President Muhammadu Buhari should be commended for championing the interests of PWDs, especially by assenting to the Discrimination Against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Act, “after almost 18 years of long struggle”.

She said: “In recent years, disability issues are now placed at the front burner of national developments. This is evidenced in the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGS). In committing to the realisation of the 2030 agenda for sustainable development, the federal government remains committed towards doing its best to cater for the needs of all her citizens (PWDs inclusive), for national development, where no one is left behind.

“As we are aware, His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari recently assented to the Discrimination Against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Act, after almost 18 years of long struggle. This Act provides for the full integration of Persons With Disabilities into the society and creation of National Commission for Persons with Disabilities that will be vested with the responsibilities for the education, health, social, economic and civil rights of PWDs. 
“These will help in no small measure in promoting the participation of PWDs in all aspects of life and their aspiring to leadership and decision making positions. Processes for the implementation of some of the provisions of the Act has already began in earnest. The President has already appointed the Executive Secretary and other members of the National Commission for Persons With Disabilities (PWDs) some few months ago to address the issues affecting the PWDs in Nigeria. 

“I remember vividly that on this day last year, I promised the PWDS and Nigerians in general that I was going to ensure that Mr. President approved the appointment of the Board members of the National Commission for PWDs to commence their duty in addressing the issues affecting the PWDs before this year’s celebration of the IDPWDs, of which he has done. Therefore, I implore the PWDs and Nigerians in general to help me thank Mr. President for this great gesture he has shown to the PWDs and Nigerians in general.”

Also speaking, the Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, said the Ministry of Education has started developing programmes to accommodate PWDs in schools across the federation.
“We are committed to the goals of the federal government towards enabling a conducive environment for all persons to thrive, especially the PWDs. In fact, the National Commission for Persons With Disabilities was established just within a year of the minister’s assumption of office. We are grateful to her for the rare achievement.

“On our part, we are doing our best to follow her recommendations in the area of inclusive education for PWDs. In that regard, we are retooling our schools and education programmes. We are including braille in some schools for use by virtually impaired persons. At this era of COVID-19, we have also been encouraging online learning for the inclusion of PWDs,” he said.