Senate Calls For Improved Budgetary Allocations For Persons With Disabilities

The Nigerian Senate has called for the allocation of adequate budgetary resources and funding for programmes, and initiatives, aimed at addressing the needs and priorities of Persons With Disabilities (PWD) in Nigeria.

It specifically listed the programmes to include but not limited to education, healthcare, vocational training, technology, and accessibility infrastructure.

This is sequel to the adoption of a motion on “Persons with Disabilities (PWD) in Nigeria and call for full implementation of the Disabilities Act”.

The motion was sponsored by Senator Osita Izunaso (APC-Imo).

Senator Izunaso in his lead debate said PWD constitutes a significant segment of the Nigerian population, with about 35 million population.

He said the PWD were facing various challenges and barriers to full inclusion and participation in the society.

He said many buildings, public spaces, and transportation systems are not designed to accommodate individuals with disabilities.

This, he said was making it difficult for them to move around independently and access essential services.

Senator Izunaso said lack of accessibility not only limits their mobility but also restricts their participation in various aspects of the society, including education, employment, and social activities.

Aware that the Discrimination Against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Act as was passed into law in 2018, provides comprehensive protection of the rights of persons with disabilities as well as prohibiting discrimination against them in all spheres of life.

“Aware also that the full implementation of the Disabilities Act is crucial to ensuring equal opportunities, access to education, healthcare, employment and transportation”.

Senator Izunaso said the act was also crucial in the provision of public services for persons with disabilities, promoting their full participation and integration into the society, and for easy access to foreign and local grants.

He expressed concern that despite the enactment of the Disabilities Act in 2018, there had been a gap in the implementation and enforcement of its provisions.

This, he said leads to continued marginalisation, exclusion, and violation of the rights of persons with disabilities across Nigeria.

Disability desk

Senate in its further resolution resolved to set up a disability desk in the Senate to deal with all issues concerning PWD.

It also resolved to create a Standing Committee for Persons with Disabilities (PWDs).

It commended the 23 states that have domesticated the Disabilities and Prohibition) Act 2018.

It also urged others yet to domesticate the act to prioritise and expedite full implementation of the act in line with international human rights conventions, including the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD).

It also called for workable measures to ensure mobility access in all senate facilities and other government and private buildings for PWD.

 

 

 

 

Emmanuel Ukoh

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