By Collins Yakubu-Hammer
The National Commission for Persons with Disabilities (NCPWD) says it is working frantically and vigorously to promote and actualise inclusion of persons with disability across the country.
The Executive Secretary of NCPWD made this known in his address of welcome at the stakeholders’ forum on Disability Inclusion Project in Abuja.
“The stakeholders meeting will be fruitful. After here, we will come out with a full idea with the constitution of National Disability Council for Nigeria.
“In the council, we will have representatives from 36 states of the federation including Federal Capital Territory (FCT). This is the beginning of our meeting.
“We are expected to have this meeting annually so that together, we can know what is happening in the various states of the federation and the supports needed from NCPWD,” Lalu said.
The NCPWD boss said it was regrettable that many states in the country had failed to domesticate the Disability Prohibition Act, adding that the commission was up and doing on the issue.
He said that the commission had meetings with the governments of Niger and Nasarawa states on disability inclusion.
“Very soon, we will meet with the governors of Borno, Katsina, Kebbi and Gombe and will do everything possible to be able to actualise the dream.
“Our commitment in the political angle is to make sure we get involved in the electoral processes in the country.
“I am happy and want to congratulate Lagos, Plateau, Kano, Nasarawa and others that mobilised PWDs to register in the Continue Voter Registration concluded recently.
“This is very important for us because it can enable us to show the numerical strength and electoral value from our community.
“We are working with INEC to get PWDs data with voter’s cards.
“We can use our numerical strength to negotiate for ministerial and ambassadorial positions for PWD in the country,” Lalu said.
He said the NCPWD would meet with all the presidential candidates of the different political parties to showcase their numerical strengthen.
According to him, the disability community has the number to determine who will be the president of the country in 2023 election.
Declaring the event open, Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouq, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development said her ministry was passionate about PWD.
Farouq, who was represented by Dr Umar Bindir, the National Coordinator, National Social Investment Programme (NSIP) said the N-Power and other programmes under the NSIP have allocated 10 per cent for PWDs.
“We are trying to push the percentage to a higher level to accommodate more PWDs.
“Lalu is someone who is representing this sector with his life. He goes out and does everything necessary to ensure that PWDs are well cared for.
“However, I want to urge all stakeholders to support Lalu. He is driving the vehicle very well. I congratulate the executive secretary.
“This is one of the forums that all states of the federation are represented. This is commendable,” Bindir said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the event brought together stakeholders from the 36 states of the federation including Federal Capital Territory. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Maureen Ojinaka/Grace Yussuf