***Insists its criminal to deny them opportunity to work

The Federal Government on Thursday has announced that it is now mandatory for the provision of 5% employment opportunity for persons with disabilities spread across the 36 States of the federation through the operationalization of Federal Character.
“This makes it criminal for any Ministry, Extra Ministerial -Department and Agencies of government to deny persons with disabilities the opportunity to work provided they have the requisite skills.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo made the disclosure on the occasion of the International Day/National summit of Persons With Disabilities which took place on Thursday in Abuja.

Represented by the Minister of special Duties, Senator George Akume, the Vice President noted With regret the post COVID- 19 era which is impacting so negatively on the Nigerian society with more adverse effects on the community of persons with disabilities.
He said, “With a population of over 31 million persons, the community keeps growing larger by the day and as such, we must plan in that geometry.
“This factor necessitated a quick intervention of Conditional Cash Transfer to persons with disabilities so as to alleviate economic challenges.”
“Again, our sports women and men at the recent Paralympics held in Korea did exceptionally well with several gold medals and other Awards in many categories, a feat that puts the Nation’s flag at an enviable state.”
This he said has no doubt proven the strength that abounds in the disability community.
“Today’s International disability Summit provides the platform to bringing together Advocates, Comrades, support groups, Scientists, and Experts in technology to brainstorm on the struggles, challenges and achievements recorded in the community of persons with disabilities.
He said the journey started long ago in the history of the country through several dispensations since the return to democracy in Nigeria.
“But at this point, may I draw your attention to the fact that dreams are aborted when vision is absent.”
According to him, “President Muhammadu Buhari demonstrated his undaunting passion and love for Persons with Disabilities when he vowed to change the narrative by creating the office to cater for this unique class of Persons.
“The creation of the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian, Disaster Management and Social Development precisely on the 21st August, 2019 marked the beginning of a new dawn for community of Persons with disabilities.
“This entity was a product of the vision by the President to give voice to the voiceless, and provide succor to the hopeless in our society. This did not end there.
“The Minister was further directed to specifically inaugurate a Commission that will be solely responsible for the overall welfare of Persons with disabilities.

The vice president explained that the National Commission for Persons with disabilities is mandated to handle all issues relating to the welfare and inclusion of Persons with disabilities. “The Federal government has also directed the Executive Secretary of the Commission Mr. James David Lalu to come up with strategies that will alleviate the sufferings of PWDs, especially to disengage those who are into street begging.
“In fulfilment of the Present administration’s commitment to lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in a very near future and to provide mass and affordable housing for Nigerians, Persons with disabilities have been given the platform to signify their interest in the available housing units which will be customized in an accessible structure for easy accessibility.”
In addition he said, the Federal government is working assiduously to modify the National Health Insurance Scheme in order to accommodate the needs of persons with disabilities. “This will enable the Medical Rehabilitation Therapists (Registration) Board of Nigeria (MRTB), the National Orthopedics Hospital, and other health agencies that provide services key into the scheme.
“At this juncture, we cannot afford not to yield to the call for Assistive Technology where there are professionals in the field of physiotherapy, Osteopathy, Speech therapists, Chiropractic, Audiology, Prosthetics and so on.
“All over the world, technology is being employed to aid communication by persons with various forms of disabilities. The government has gone ahead to revise the National policy on disability to develop the roadmap on local production of Assistive devices.”
Osinbajo indicated that the Executive arm of government in agreement with the Judiciary extended an avenue to ensure the rights of persons with disabilities is guaranteed by requesting for inputs from the community of PWDs in the process of Constitutional review.
May I also assure you that “We will definitely leave no one behind”.
“Furtherance to this is the recent formulation of National sign language module currently being harnessed to unify interpretation for a seamless communication in the Deaf community”
The minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development Hajia Sadia Umar Farouk said her joy is growing by the day to see the Commission being nurtured through the stages of growth to fulfilling its mandate.
“This is in recognition of the promise made by the Commander- in- Chief of the Armed of forces to take 100 million Nigerians whose population belong to the clusters PWDs during his swearing- in ceremony.
“As the vision of President Muhammadu Buhari is being crystalized, over Thirty- One million persons with disabilities are beginning to have the visibility and the inclusivity that the community has long awaited.
“Today, hope is rekindled in the disability community about their identity and the protection of the rights of PWDs against any form of discrimination or abuse.”

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