Abuja – President Goodluck Jonathan on Thursday renewed his administration’s commitment to the welfare of persons living with disability (PLWD) in the country.
Jonathan said this in Abuja at a rally organised by the PDP Presidential Campaign Orgainsation for the disable persons.
Represented by the Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Hajiya Zainab Maina, the president also promised to sign into law the bill on disability before the end of his tenure on May 29.
He said the present administration had designed a policy document aimed at improving the lots of persons challenged with one form of disability or the other.
“The vision of the Federal Government in 2015 especially is to empower people living with disability and make them live normal lives in their chosen careers.
“I want to reiterate the commitment of this administration to the wellbeing of the disabled among us.’’
On his part, the Minister of Health, Dr Khaliru Alhassan, said the Federal Government was tackling the issues associated with permanent disability from different dimensions.
He said polio, which is one of the major causes of disability, has been reduced from 200 cases in 2013 to 53 through the national programme on polio eradication.
“It is a double achievement because it has been reduced from 53 to six cases of polio and we have not registered any polio case in the last six months.
“The president through the Federal Ministry of Health in collaboration with the state governments is making efforts to eradicate polio in Nigeria,” he said.
Alhassan promised that the National Health Act would be implemented to guarantee access to healthcare for all categories of Nigerians.
According to him, in terms of rehabilitation, government will continue to provide wheel chair and other necessary aids for persons with disability.
The Special Adviser to Abia governor on Disability Matters, Mr Okey Kalu, said the president has promised to sign the bill into law in the interest of PLWD.
According to him, employment is a vital tool that can help the disabled particularly live better lives.
He stressed the need for those already employed to be secured as stipulated in the laws till they retire from service.
He decried the poor treatment given to persons with disability in public places or their respective places of work.
The individuals, groups and relevant stakeholders thronged the Eagle Square to grace the occasion organised as part of the PDP’s presidential campaign rally. (NAN)