By Joseph Erunke – Abuja
The federal government, Tuesday, pledged continuous support for persons living with disabilities.
Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar Farouq, speaking at a press conference in Abuja to mark the 2020 International Day of Persons with Disabilities, IDPWDs, assured that the government was committed to improving the standards of the vulnerable and also protect the rights of persons with disabilities.
“Let me assure you that the Federal Government will continue to be disability-sensitive in supporting and providing a conducive environment towards promoting the participation of Persons With Disabilities and their leadership to enable a fulfilled life with meaningful contributions to societal growth and development,” she said.
The minister: “As we mark this year’s International Day of Persons with Disabilities, I wish to once again celebrate our sisters and brothers and urge us all to avail ourselves of the opportunities presented through the events of this year’s celebration.”
Recall that the 3rd of December every year has been proclaimed by the United Nations as the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, following the United Nation General Assembly Resolution 47/3 of 1992.
The day is intended to prompt member states and other disability stakeholders to focus on issues relating to total inclusion of Persons with Disabilities (PWDs), raise awareness on them and awakening the consciousness of all member states towards encouraging and promoting activities that will bring issues of disability in the front burner in both national and international circles, as well as celebrating persons with disabilities.
The theme for this year’s International Day of Persons with Disabilities is “Building Back better: Toward a Disability-Inclusive, Accessible and Sustainable post-COVID-19 world”.
Farouq explained that the theme is focused on ensuring that Persons with Disabilities are equipped and empowered for inclusive, accessible and sustainable development as is envisaged in the Covid-19 world.
According to her, “Disability has been identified as being both a right and development issue as well as a cross-cutting phenomenon, hence this year, disability issues are placed at the front burner of national development.”
She recalled that “at the event commemorating the 2019 International Day for Persons with Disability, I stated my commitment and to ensuring the take-off of the National Commission for Persons with Disabilities (NCPWDs) and made it one of my priorities.”
“Today, I am gratified to say that on the 17th of August President Muhammadu Buhari approved the appointment of the Board and Executive Secretary of the Commission signifying the take-off of the Commission to fully commence activities in the Commission,” she said.
Farouq spoke further: “The Commission is responsible for the Education, Health, Economic and Civil rights of PWDs. This will help in promoting the participation of PWDs in all aspects of life and their aspiring to leadership and decision-making positions.
“In order to achieve its aims and objectives on issues of disabilities in Nigeria, the Federal Ministry collaborates with various stakeholders and partners and will continue to do so.”
She assured that “the federal government is committed to ensuring that persons living with disabilities have access to education, employment, social protection, health and other essential services.”
“I urge us all to be sensitive to the needs of persons with disabilities and the protection of their rights by supporting the provision of an enabling environment that will promote the realization of their potentials, to enable them live fulfilled lives and make meaningful contributions to societal growth and development,” she charged.
Vanguard News Nigeria