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Stakeholders want FG to halt discrimination of PWDs


Stakeholders have called on the Federal Government to implement the Disability Act to halt discrimination against Persons with Disabilities (PWDs).

They specifically want the government to implement Section 2 of the Act.

Section 2 (1) of the Act, which came into effect on January 17, 2019, provides that “a person with disability shall not be discriminated against on the ground of his disability by any person or institution in any manner or circumstance”.

Sub section 2 stated that “a person who contravenes subsection 1 commits an offence and is liable on conviction to, if the person is (a) a body corporate, a fine of N1 million, and (b) an individual, a fine of N100,000 or six months imprisonment or both.

The Act also mandates the Federal Ministry of Information to create awareness on the law while the Federal Government will set up a National Commission for a People with Disabilities to cater for their needs.

At the stakeholders interactive forum with the media on Monday in Abuja organised by the Centre for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD) to mark the first anniversary of the passage of the National Disability Act, participants adopted a 10-point communiqué to draw attention to non-implementation of the law one year after it came into effect.

The Executive Director, Centre for Citizens with Disabilities, David Anyaele, implored the ministry of information to live up to its mandate by promoting respect and adherence to the law.

Apart from calling on the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture to begin public enlightenment activities on the law, participants urged government to reduce the plight of PWDs by immediately setting up the National Commission on Disabilities.

Stakeholders also want periodic programmes to create awareness about the act and its provisions and engage institutions and processes for approval of public buildings including the Nigerian institute of Architects and the Institute of Builders, where possible or relevant, use the Freedom of Information Act (FOI) to question government compliance, plans and budgeting with regards to implementation of the National Disability Act.

The communiqué appealed to the media to be more sensitive on the use of language in reporting PWDs and called for the creation of a contact list of persons with disabilities and experts who can speak on disability rights issues.

PWDs were enjoined to improve their knowledge and familiarity with the National Disability Act and relevant issues and be willing to share their views and their experiences to the Media to deepen their knowledge;

Stakeholders similarly agreed that there is a need develop media databases with contact details and use existing programmes and sections to highlight issues of PWDs by mainstreaming the issues of PWDs whenever policy issues are being debated.

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