Public Buildings Without Access To PWD Risk Closure, Says Minister

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The Minister for Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Betta Edu has said public buildings across the nation lacking proper accessibility for Persons With Disabilities (PWD) are set to face closure in 2024.
The minister disclosed this during the commemoration of the 2023 International Day for Persons with Disabilities on Thursday.
Edu, who emphasized the need for public buildings to provide proper access for persons with disabilities, stated that a task force would soon be constituted to ensure compliance with accessibility standards.
She also decried the low allocation to the National Commission for Persons with Disabilities in the proposed 2024 budget.
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She said the allocation is not enough to meet the needs of the 35 million Nigerians with disabilities.
“We are celebrating five years of the law protecting the rights of persons with disabilities. This law must be domesticated in all states of Nigeria.
“We call upon all members of state assemblies and governors to expedite action. Today is significant; President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has approved 10% of every intervention in the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty to be directed to persons with disabilities.”
“Governors and state assemblies must expedite action to create these commissions. When we give him the list to create, he will process it smoothly from state to national.
“There are 21 programs, and 10 per cent has been allocated to persons with disabilities. As the budget presentation and approval for 2024 is approaching, We plead with our dear National Assembly members, our very super chairmen, to improve the budget allocation for the disability commission in the 2024 budget presentation. It is low and unacceptable.”
Speaking, the Senate President, said the Discrimination Against Persons with disability Prohibition Act of 2018 guides on the necessity for all coordinated activities in education, socio-economic empowerment, and civic rights.
On her part. Country Advocacy Coordinator for Sightsavers Nigeria, Esther Bature, said it is committed to having a world where no one goes blind due to unavoidable causes and also where persons with disabilities have equal opportunities and rights as people with disabilities.
The Chairman, House Committee on Disability, Hon. Bashir Daudu, said a lot would be heard about the amendment of the PWD bill in the year 2024, noting that one recognisable challenge “is that people are still not aware of it despite that it took two decades for it to be signed in 2018 and became effective in 2019.”
The Executive Secretary, the National Commission for Persons with Disabilities, James David Lalu, charged major stakeholders to take issues on PWDs seriously.

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