Federal government to ensure establishment of disability desks in MDAs

The office would engage relevant stakeholders on the amendment of the Discrimination Against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Act, 2018.

The Federal Government says it will ensure that heads of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) establish disability desks and officers to man them to cater for the needs of Persons With Disabilities (PWDs).

The Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to the President on Disability Matters, Mohammed Isa, said this on Wednesday in Abuja during a media conference. He also said that he would also ensure the formulation of inclusive policies and enabling environment for PWDs.

He added that his office would engage relevant stakeholders on the amendment of the Discrimination Against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Act, 2018.

He said that the office would also work toward evolving mechanisms for the amendment of the Act to comply with the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) to remedy the various defects in the law.

According to him, this will be done in conjunction with the National Commission for Persons With Disabilities (NCPWD), through the introduction of international best practices in the quest to implement the Renewed Hope Agenda of President Bola Tinubu.

He added that he would engage with state governors and other authorities to ensure the establishment and implementation of legislative framework, policies, plans and programmes to foster disability inclusion, participation and development.

He said; “I will immediately engage the various authorities responsible for Federal Government palliative initiatives to include PWDs, particularly to ensure the setting aside of quota for them.

“In conjunction with the NCPWD, I will liaise with the Ministry of Transport to immediately put in place the process of formulating policies on transportation for PWDs as movement is crucial and the fulcrum for participation.

“I will also engage the humanitarian and poverty alleviation agency for the inclusion of PWDs to temporarily grant them reliefs and ultimately to pull them out of poverty.”

The special assistant added that partnerships would be fostered with development agencies to build capacity of PWDs on job readiness, social integration and also work with employers of labour to ensure gainful employment for the unemployed individuals.

Isa also said that in conjunction with NCPWD, he would ensure proper oversight, supervision and monitoring of all initiatives of government as well as donor interventions to ensure mainstreaming of disability perspective.

“My office will partner with all Organisations of Persons with Disability (OPDs) and NGOs in order to encourage, strengthen and support their work and to align all interventions within the sphere of the Renewed Hope Agenda for the benefit of PWDs in Nigeria,” he said.

He thanked Tinubu for the appointment, and pledged to make positive impact in the lives of PWDs, and work toward a more disability-inclusive and prosperous Nigeria. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that President Bola Tinubu appointed Isa, a PWD on November 9 to ensure that every segment of the society is sufficiently catered to.

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