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Stakeholders task employers on inclusion of job opportunities for PLWDs

By Opeyemi Babalola
10 December 2022   |   9:43 am
....Sheraton, Plateau state among others receive disability inclusion awards Stakeholders from different walks of life have renewed calls on the need to promote the rights and well-being of persons with disabilities in all spheres of society. This was part of the discussions at the Disability Inclusion and Leadership Awards (DIAL) to mark this year’s International…

(L-R) Executive Director, Project Enable Africa, Olusola Owonikoko; Chairperson, Project Enable Africa, Dr. Okei-Odumakin, Senior Advisor, Disability Inclusion at Save the Children International, Dr. Toyin Aderemi; one of the recipient of the DIAL Awards, Urionu Ngozichukwuka, and Project Enable Africa Board Member, Kola Olugbodi, at the Disability Inclusion and Leadership Awards held in Lagos…yesterday.

….Sheraton, Plateau state among others receive disability inclusion awards

Stakeholders from different walks of life have renewed calls on the need to promote the rights and well-being of persons with disabilities in all spheres of society.

This was part of the discussions at the Disability Inclusion and Leadership Awards (DIAL) to mark this year’s International Day of Disabled Persons, organised by Project Enable Africa and sponsored by Access Bank.

Speaking at the event held at the headquarters of the bank in Lagos, Dr Joe Okei-Odumakin, chairperson, of Project Enable Africa and President, of Women Arise for Change, said that the foundation has been working towards empowering People living with disabilities (PLWDs) and through entrepreneurship skills and employment opportunities.

She underscored the need for all the stakeholders at both public and private sectors to rise and support the disabled in society, noting that, “Nigeria cannot move forward if about 1/3 of its population is left behind and neglected.”

She said: “Today is special to us because Nigeria is home to about 20 million of PLWDs and about 15% of the global population according to the UN.”

She called on the employers of labour to consider the disabled for employment, stating that most of them have significant roles to contribute and importantly, have families to cater for.

Executive Director of the foundation, Olushola Owonikoko, explained that the DIAL Awards presentation was initiated to celebrate their milestone in empowering the PLWDs, assuring that the foundation would not relent in its fight against stereotypes related to persons with disabilities.

Speaking earlier, Public Affairs Officer, United States Consulate General, Lagos, Joseph Kruzich, asked the government to create consciousness and legal structure on the rights of PLWDs so that they can have equal access to employment and facilities.

According to him, “In the United States and elsewhere, when you empower the disabled in your country, you increase the prosperity and find ways for them to be integrated into the private sector and the economy because they make great and significant contributions to the country.”

He, however, appealed to the public to shun discrimination against the disabled, adding that there is ability in their disabled state.

On her part, Senior Special Adviser to Lagos State Governor on Disability Affairs, Adenike Lawal, lamented that despite efforts by concerned individuals in the society for the disabled, discrimination against them still persists.

While appreciating the efforts of the Babajide Sanwo-Olu-led administration towards the welfare of the disabled, she urged PLWDs not to allow their status to be a barrier for them in the attainment of lofty heights.

The high point of the event was the presentation of DIAL awards to notable personalities and organisations and States that have been championing inclusiveness for the PLWDs, Sheraton Hotel has presented an award of Private sector championing innovation and inclusion for PWDs, while Plateau State received the award for the Most Disability Inclusive State of the Year.

Also, a non-governmental organisation (NGO) based in Abuja, Voice of Disability Initiative (VDI), bagged the Organisations of Persons with Disability championing disability inclusion.

Others in the personalities category include Eucharia Iyiazi, Ejiro Okotie and Urionu Ngozichukwuka, who all received Disabled Sportsman of the year, Disability Champion of the year, and individuals leading inclusion in the Private sector, respectively.

While Tobiloba Ajayi and Ishk Tolaram, received awards for leading Civil Society organisations in PWDs and the Most Disability Inclusive CSR, respectively.