A Governing Board that will manage N500million Disability Trust Fund (DTF) has been inaugurated in Lagos State.
Governor Akinwunmi Ambode says the Governing Board which is under the Office for Disability Affairs would help people living with disabilities in the State in realising their dreams and live a more comfortable life.
Governor Ambode stated that it was in fulfilment of his administration’s promise to ensure that the affairs of people living with disabilities is managed by people passionate enough to show that there is ability in disability.
The Governor said the Board would, on behalf of the State Government, manage the affairs of people living with disabilities by issuing guidelines for their education, social development and welfare.
“This Fund has in its kitty today, N500m with a marching order to solicit from the public and other charitable organisations, additional support for its objectives, it could not have done otherwise, given the array of people with disabilities who possess requisite qualification, experience and character.”
“In addition, we believe in their ability to manage the Disability Trust Fund more judiciously because they have a more personal understanding of the needs and situation of our less privileged people. This fund will give our brothers and sisters a needed boost to make a livelihood for themselves and a chance to fulfil their potentials,” the Governor said.
The Governor, however, assured that notwithstanding the N500million Trust Fund, people living with disabilities are still eligible to access the N25billion Employment Trust Fund (ETF).
Governor Ambode, while congratulating the members of the Board, tasked them to ensure that the principles of transparency, accountability, inclusiveness and fairness are observed in administering the fund and coordinating all affairs concerning people living with disabilities.
“It is my belief that the fund should provide infrastructure and facilities required by needed parties to also complement the efforts of our administration,” he said.
Commissioner for Youth and Social Development, Mrs Uzamat Akinbile-Yusuf said that people living with disabilities had the same right as everyone else.
Mrs Akinbile-Yusuf noted that with proper planning, a person with special needs could have a more fulfilling, healthier and enjoyable life, hence the fulfilment of the Governor’s promise of the N500 million fund to take care of people living with disabilities.
“This is an important step towards scaling up efforts to address disability inclusion and further strengthen the fact that social exclusion of persons living with disabilities is unacceptable in the face of economic and social progress in the State,” Akinbile-Yusuf said.
The Chairman of the Board of Trustee, Office For Disability Affairs, Dr. Oki Olabodunrin Waheed thanked the Governor for reposing confidence in him and his team, just as he assured that they would discharge their duties conscientiously.