By Joy Odor
The Instructor and Trainer in Armed Forces Electrical Mechanical Engineering (AFEME) Mechatronics School, Mr Adamu Alexander has been described as discrimination, anti social and intimidation for building and establisilning separate school for People Living with Disabilities (PWDs) in Nigeria.
Mr Adamu Alexander who made the call at the commomeration of lnternational Day for People Living with Disabilities (PWDs) in Abuja, on Thursday said it is high time for the federal government and individuals to established inclusive Technical Vocational Education Training Schools (TVETS) across Nigeria for PWDs and non PWDs to co-exists as provided in the disability law.
With the Theme: ”Building Back Better: Toward a Disability-lnclusive, Accessible and Sustainable Post COVID-19 World” Mr. Alexander said according to the disability law and policy, any public or private school that have no environmental plan or reject PWDs would be suied, faced imprisonment or option of fine.
He noted that even do PWDs constitutes 15% population of Nigeria citizen which is at the high alert, they are no longer people to be pited or feel sorry for but are capable to work, to be educated and to learn other vocations to help the country and society at large if the leaders provide inclusiveness in every aspect of their development.
Also speaking at the celebration, the Project Manager of Sight Saver, Mr. Rasak Adekoya requested that the Executive Secretary of the newly created National Commission for Persons with Disabilities, Mr James Lalu should ensure that 30% of all inclusive procurement will go to PWDs entrepreneur like Kenya committed 30% of its country’s procurement to PWDs.
“You will be the first in the West African, that in Nigeria, 39% government procurement is inclusive for PWDs.
“The second call to the Executive Secretary to Disability Commission is to build up data of PWDs across Nigeria.
“Data is the belm of development and l hope that the new Commission will be developing data base for the benefit of PWDs that would be helpful to the government, PWDs and the commission” he said
In his opening speech, Mr James Lalu said the emergence of the Covid-19 pandemic has exposed the challenges faced by Nigerians living with disabilities.
He listed some of the challenges to include difficulty in accessing public facilities like schools, train stations, airports and the neglect of persons with disabilities.
” The annual observance of the international day of disabled persons was proclaimed in 1992 by United Nations, aimed at promoting, understanding of disability issues and mobilize support for dignity, rights and well-being of persons with disability.
” This year, Nigerians joined the rest of the world to mark the day with over thirty one point five million population of persons living with disabilities.
“People with disabilities can contribute to the growth of the economy if given the audience and included in the governance of the nation.
“I urged Nigerians to stop the discrimination against the disabled as they equally have a say in the society. The emergence of the Covid-19 pandemic has further exposed the challenges faced by Nigerians living with disabilities, ranges from difficulty in assessing public facilities like schools, train stations and airports among others.
“Ministers and other heads of Government agencies should not just make promises on mainstreaming but should approach the ministry of Humanitarian affairs to properly grasp what mainstreaming of disability in development actualy entails.
” Ministries and agencies that have something to do with the Humanitarian ministry should approach the ministry to learn about mainstreaming of disability in development.
“Talking about mainstreaming of disability in development, inclusion of disability in development one very important things.
“I want to say that our ministers that are here should volunteer to come to the humanitarian affairs ministry one day to learn about mainstreaming of disability in development.
“Today is one of the most important day in the disable community in Nigeria. It is a day we stand together with all people to recognize the value and importance of the contribution of the disability community in Nigeria.
”Sincerely speaking I like to state here that since independence the disability community had never had it so good as it is happening in this Government.
”President Muhammadu Buhari remained the only Presdent that has treated disability in Nigeria more positively” he stressed.
The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs Disaster Management and Social Development,S Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouk assured that the Federal Government would streamline the inclusion of persons with disability in governance.
Represented by the Director, Special Needs in the Ministry, Mrs. Nkechi Onwukwebtue ,represented by the director, special needs in the ministry, Mrs. Nkechi Onwukwe the Minister expressed confidence in the ability of Mr. Jame Lalu to successfully manage the affairs of the new organization which is under the ministry of humanitarian affairs.
She said the creation of the disability commission will ensure that issues affecting persons living with disabilities will now be included in every policy of government.