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Cross River JONAPWD charges FG, states to implement national disability bill

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People living with disabilities (PLWDs) in Cross River State have appealed to Federal and state governments to implement the National Disability Bill.

They made the call yesterday when the Joint National Association of Persons Living with Disabilities (JONAPWD), Cross River State chapter, visited the management of the Arthur Jarvis University in Akpabuyo, near Calabar.

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State coordinator of JONAPWD, Dr. Livinus Okpa, disclosed that the group lacked office space for administrative duties, mobility for its members and other challenges.

To drive inclusive education and employment, the management of Arthur Jarvis University had announced scholarships, donations, and employment opportunities for children of the physically challenged persons in the state.

Okpa commended the university for “choosing to be the feet to the lame, voice to the dumb, ears to the deaf and eyes to the blind.”

He said they were surprised at the gesture from the university and expressed gratitude for the institution’s decision to intervene and the steps so far taken to address the challenges facing members of JONAPWD.

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While announcing the gesture, Chancellor of the University, Sir Arthur Jarvis Archibong, said when the university was at its formative stage, his aspiration was to provide platforms that promote inclusiveness.

Archibong, who was touched by the stories of stigmatisation of JONAPWD members, said their challenges were enormous and as such, they should not be left to government alone, as private individuals and corporate organisations also have vital roles to play.

He said the university was offering employment to persons living with disabilities to accommodate the five per cent benchmark as stipulated in section 8, sub-section 5 © of the National Disability Act 2018.

Management of the university also pledged to be part of JONAPWD’s activities and urged it to profile names of members’ children, who are qualified for university education to enable them to access scholarships into any department of their choice.

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