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PWDs seek action on disability law one year after

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President Muhammadu Buhari (right); Ambassador of  KpaKpando Foundation, Queen Helen Makama being assisted by Barrister Onyinyechi Okubodu during the visit of the National Merit awardees at the State House, Abuja…yesterday. PHOTO: PHILIP OJISUA

One year after President Muhammadu Buhari assented to the Discrimination against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Act, the Federal Government is yet to implement provisions in the act, which among other items, mandates the Federal Ministry of Information to promote awareness on the rights, respect and dignity of Persons With Disabilities (PWDs), and prohibit all forms of discrimination against PWDs.

At a media training on disability reporting held to commemorate the first year anniversary of the Nigeria Disability Law and organized by Project Enable Africa, media consultant, Mr. Ekene Okoro, queried why there is no provision in the recently signed 2020 budget for the National Commission for PWDs, the body to be headed by an executive secretary and mandated by law to implement provisions in the disability law.

“As at 2011, over 25 million Nigerians had one form of disability and about 3.6 million of these had significant difficulties in their daily life. Last year, the National Disability Act 2018 was signed into law after 18 years in the National Assembly, with a mandate for provisions of the law to be actualized within five years. A year is gone and there has been no progress since the bill was signed into law.”

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Also, the Lagos State chairman of Joint National Association of Persons with Disabilities (JONAPWD), Dr. Adebukola Adebayo, while advocating for a more disability-inclusive Nigeria, urged the media to pay adequate attention towards disability issues, one of which is championing the full implementation of the disability law.

Director of Project Enable Africa, Mr. Olusola Owonikoko, said the NGO’s aim is to promote digital and social inclusion of PWDs by equipping them with skills so that they could have access to available opportunities.

He added that the NGO was also doing a lot of advocacy campaign and had launched “Follow DisAct Campaign’’ with the goal of tracking, monitoring and reporting the progress on the Disability Bill.


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