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‘It will take 100yrs to meet 50% of PWDs’ needs’

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Executive Secretary of National Commission for Persons with Disabilities, James Lalu, yesterday, said it would take almost 100 years to meet 50 per cent of expectations of people living with disabilities based on the paltry N1, 749, 884, 495 allocation for the commission.

He vented his frustration during the agency’s budget defence before the Senator Yusuf Yusuf-led Senate Committee on Special Duties.

According to him, even if the new commission were to be allocated N20 billion yearly, it would equally take almost 20 years to achieve the half-percentage target.

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“Just the provision of assistive device before a person gets artificial limbs that can last for more than five years will require N500, 000,” he explained.

Lalu regretted that due to the mountain of problems in Nigeria, many citizens were fast joining membership of this special class of persons.

He continued: “Some of them because of gunshots, they are amputated. Today in Nigeria, you have one or two persons being amputated daily in our tertiary health facilities.

“And an amputated person, who does not have artificial limbs but walks with clutches, automatically can not go to farm. He will not be able to fend for himself, and when it happens, he may resort to begging.

“Just because he has no wheelchair, he may not be able to go to school. And this is one of the ways a potential president, local government chairman or senator is wasted just because he does not have the basic limbs.

“These are things that are tied to us as a commission that we should provide for them to enable them stand on their own.”

With adequate provision, the ES said PWDs could hold their own in every situation, however, bad.

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James LaluPWDs
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