British envoy, CIPM, others call for active engagement of PWDs
The Chartered Institute of Personnel Management, (CIPM), Sightsavers and other stakeholders have called on employers of labour in Nigeria to engage the services of Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) in the workplace to bridge the economic shortfall.
The International Labour Organisation (ILO) had stated in its report that three to seven per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is lost within middle and low-income countries to the exclusion of PWDs from the job market.
The stakeholders comprising of corporate giants, high-profile private companies, international development organisations and government, envoys, professional bodies, human resources outfits among others, made the call at a webinar on ‘Launching ceremony of Nigeria Business Disability Network, (NBDN),’ organised by Sightsavers, a private-sector network that champions disability inclusion in the workplace.
The British Deputy High Commission in Nigeria, Ben Jones and other dignitaries attended the webinar.
The Country Director of Sightsavers, Nigeria and Ghana, Dr. Sunday Isiyaku, explained that employing persons with disabilities has clear benefits not only for the people employed but also for businesses.
“One estimate suggests that there’s a spending power of $8 trillion waiting for businesses who recognise this, and it starts with hiring inclusively.”
Chief Executive Officer, CIPM, Ms. Busola Alofe, urged employers to make it a top priority to engage people living with disabilities in workplaces, noting that this would contribute to the development of the society.
“It is said that a lot of organisations and governments are yet to imbibe inclusiveness in employment. I urge all employers to go out there, identify PWDs, and identify their strengths for improving their businesses and revenue base.
“People will not just see you as making money but also contributing to the development of society. PWDs have equal or better competence and skills than persons without disabilities.”
Jones, who delivered a keynote on ‘The Roles of Private Sector, organisations and Donor Agencies in driving a sustainable disabilities inclusion agenda in the workplace,’ said one billion people globally are living with disabilities.
He stated that most of them are invisible and living in developing countries while 20 million are in Nigeria.
While decrying the exclusion of PWDs in the workplace, the British envoy urged the Nigeria government to convene a disabilities summit to address challenges facing the group.