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NationalUpdate on PWDS

James Lalu describes sign language as a guiding light to the deaf



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Sign Language communication is very central to the lives of the Deaf and Hard of hearing, the Executive Secretary National Commission for Persons with Disabilities, Mr. James David Lalu has said.

The Disability commission boss made this dislosure recently during a parley with the Authorities of Federal University of Lafia, in Lafia, Nassarawa State.  

“Sign language communication gives the Deaf the ability to connect to the world, and it is our resolve in the Commission to connect the school with experts for more studies and research in various fields of Disabilities studies, especially on sign language communication” he said.

Lalu further explained that the Commission will establish a uniform module of Sign language communication to be used all over the country which he said differs in different parts of the world.

He also disclosed that a memorandum is already
with the Federal Executive Council awaiting approval in order to vest Sign language communication as the second linquafranca in Nigeria.

“Sign language communication has taken a central dimension that it has prompted the federal government to mandate the Commission to employ about 200 sign Language interpreters who will be deployed to different MDAs especially the Judiciary, Institutions of leaning and the Media”

While appreciating the school for establishing the Department of Special Education, the Executive Secretary pledged the willingness of the Commission to partner with the institution in all fasciae in order to improve the lives of Persons with Disabilities in Nigeria.

He however, opined that the Department would inspire more considerations and attract more integrated courses prepared for academic studies if it is transformed to Centre for Disability Studies which he believes is more encompassing.

Furthermore, the Executive Secretary divulged that he has involved interests from California State University, United States of America to partner with FULafia to appraise the curriculum of the school and mobilize resources for more programmes, especially on Sign language Communication and interpretation.

“Collaboration with other Nigerian Universities such as University of Jos will be quite invaluable as this will attract exchange of programmes and ideas which will make provisions for other necessary technical assistance” He revealed.

Lalu also promised that in no distant time, the Commission will interface with TETfund to access Special Education Intervention grant in order to equip the school in building more disability friendly facilities.

“Our collaboration with FULafia will create opportunities for research and attracts Development experts both locally and internationally for grants and resources to deepen disability education in our school system”  

The ES similarly called for the review of policy administration of the school towards accommodating the needs of Persons with Disabilities which will see that the school gives admissions to the right individuals with disabilities and to employ qualified PWDs putting Sections 28 and 29 of the Disability Act into perception.

In his response, the Vice Chancellor of the University Professor Shehu Abdul Rahman said that the school is delighted to welcome the interest of the Commission to partner with the Institution to establish Center for Disability Studies for the North Central Geo Political Zone.

He further expressed willingness to adhere strictly on 5 percent employment opportunities for PWDs and disclosed that two non-academic and one academic PWDs have already been engaged by the school.

He expressed appreciation to President Muhammadu Buhari led administration for the establishment of the Commission and for the choice of David Lalu whom he described as the right bolt in the right hovel as the Executive Secretary of the of Commission.

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NationalUpdate on PWDS

PWDs cry out For wheelchairs in Kogi, Mark Int’l Wheelchair Day




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By Ishaq Dan-Imam, Lokoja

The Kogi State chapter of the National Association of Persons With Physical Disabilities (NAPWPD), has called on non-governmental organizations, donors, governments, corporate bodies, philanthropists and other spirited individuals in Nigeria, to provide them with motorized Wheelchairs and other accessibility aids.
The association made up of persons with physical Disabilities (PWDs) in the State made the clarion call while they marked this year’s international Wheelchair Day.
At the event which was held at the Disability House in Lokoja, on Friday, the Kogi State chapter of NAPWPD said there is urgent need to provide their members with motorized Wheelchairs to facilitate easy movement given the rising cost of transportation and excruciating poverty, members of the association who are mostly unemployed have been subjected to.

Kogi State Chairman of NAPWPD, Comrade Hassan Sule Destiny, in an emotion laden speech, said, “We are able to move about with the grace of God, and the celebration of this year’s international Wheelchair Day,
marks a turning-point in our quest for unhindered accessibility in the state as we look into the future with greater ‘hope’ and optimism, while we appreciate our good partner in the United States, the Disability Rights Fund, for providing us the support to commemorate the annual celebration of IWD on March 1 every year.”

Mr. Destiny, indicated that the association is growing local chapters at the grassroots to be at the vanguard of community engagement for popular participation of Wheelchair Users in social Inclusion at the local government level.

“We will soon inaugurate the local government chapters of NAPWPD in 21 Local Government Areas (LGAs) across the state to amplify our ‘voice’ in the state.
“We shall continue with our struggle for easy ‘accessibility’ for greater empowerment of our members despite the hurdles against persons with physical Disabilities (PWDs) in the state for we believe in our inner spirit to overcome challenges.”

“The PWDs in the state cannot but thank the Disability Rights Fund for giving us the finances with which to organize the annual event just as we appreciate the innovative leadership of our national officers led by Comrade Ridwanu Mohammed Abdulllahi.
His exceptional leadership is inspiring us to greatness as we propagate the ideals of NAPWPD to the grassroots in the state.

A national officer of the association, Mr. Arome Daniel Ibrahim, extolled the courage of Wheelchair Users in the state even in the face of high cost of Wheelchairs, which according to him are beyond the reach of the PWDs.
He therefore called for local production of Wheelchairs at subsidized rate to enable more PWDs in the state acquire Wheelchairs as essential mobility aid to dymistify the agony of disability.

Arome, noted that Wheelchair Users incur extra cost of transporting their Wheelchairs, as often times, the PWDs charter motorcycles or commercial tricycles to convey their Wheelchairs separately along. Hence, the need for special allowances for the PWDs in civil service in order to make life easier for this category of deprived Nigerians who are limited by physical Disabilities.

The international Wheelchair Day is celebrated worldwide every in the month of March, to raise public awareness on the importance of Wheelchairs to accessibility of PWDs.

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NationalUpdate on PWDS

2 Months after, Over 64,000 PWDS, others yet to access Palliative in Jigawa




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By Ahmed Rufa’i, Dutse

About two months after the official launch of the cash and foodstuffs palliative distribution worth over N3.1 billion to physically challenge persons and other less privileged persons across 27 local government areas of Jigawa state, only 11 local government areas have been able to meet with the condition for cash collection.

The Jigawa state commissoner for special Duties, Auwal D Sankara indicated that 16 out of 27 local government councils are yet to meet the required criteria for collecting the sum of N720 million cash as palliative.

The commissoner made the disclosure while speaking to news men in Dutse, indicating that, “so far only 11 local governments were able to meet with the payment requirements adding that they stand to benefit from the current disbursement  of N1.08b cash as palliative to 108,000 persons in the state”.

According to him “The state government approved a total of N40 million for each of the 27 local government areas as palliative for 4,000 Persons Living With Disability (PWDs), Orphans, women and elderly people”.

Mr Sankara explained that 4000 persons will get 10,000 each from the 27 local government areas of the state.

Findings by our reporter in the state revealed that about two months after the official flag off of the palliative distribution by the state Governor Malam Umar Namadi only 44,000 out of 108,000 targeted beneficiaries have received the cash assistance.

It was also gathered that about 64,000 targeted beneficiaries who are People Leaving with Disability (PWDs), Orphans, elderly people and Women were waiting to collect.

When contacted the JIgawa state chairman of the Association for Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON), Honourable Bala Usman Chamo said “The problem came as a result of the need for benefiaried to own bank accounts through which they can get the cash.

Hon Chamo explained that there are specific persons meant to benefit from the gesture.
In an attempted to ensure justice, transparency as well as blocking malpractices, the governor ordered that beneficiaries would be paid directly through their bank account”.

“And looking at the categories of the beneficiaries, especially those in the rural areas many of them have no bank account. I believed this is the major cause of the delay, but not because of negligence on the part of the local government councils’ chairmen”.

Our reporter in the state gathered that the state governor, Malam Umar Namadi had on 15th of September 2023 flagged up the palliative distribution to 108, 000 less prevellage people across 27 local government areas of the state.

When he launched the programme in Gumel town, the governor Namadi had indicated that his government allocated a total sum of N1.080 billion to be disbursed to the beneficiaries.

According to him, the N1.080 billion will be disbursed to 108,000 beneficiaries across the 287 political wards in the 27 local government areas in the state.

“Under this framework, N40 million will be allocated to each of the 27 local governments for distribution to 1,000 youths, 1,000 women, 1,000 elderly, and 1,000 persons with Disability. We are anticipating that 108,000 people will receive N10,000 each.”

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NationalUpdate on PWDS

Disability commission promises more support for Amputees Coalition of Nigeria




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The Executive Secretary of the National Commission for Persons With Disabilities Mr. James David Lalu has promised maximum support for the Amputees Coalition of Nigeria to guarantee better living for members of the group.
A statement by head of Public Relations Unit of the commission Mbanefo JohnMichaels I quoted the executive secretary to have made the commitment in his office during a courtesy visit by the leadership of the group

Lalu who saw the visit as very essential described the moment as an avenue to discuss vital issues on Assistive technology and devices.

“May I use this medium to inform you that the Commission has been providing prosthetics and orthotics to some Persons with physical disabilities and will continue to do more; we equally offered employment to one of the beneficiaries of Assistive Devices who is now under the payroll of the Commission” he disclosed.

The Commission’s Boss further advised the group to ensure that they register with the Commission in order to get their personal disability certificates and identity cards which will enable them to have access to financial inclusions.

The programme officer, Amputees Coalition of Nigeria, Chukwuelo Eva on behalf of the team expressed his gratitude to the Executive Secretary for his support to Amputees over the years.

He also used the medium to inform the meeting of the Annual Awareness Press Conference for Amputees, slated for April 2024 .

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