By Gabriel Olawale
The first female president of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, Mrs. Priscilla Kuye, has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to institute a National Disability Rights Commission, NDRC, with innovative deal and commitment that will enable disabled people attain their potentials.
Kuye regretted that despite the fact that the constitution protects and promotes full integration of persons with disability into society on equal basis. She hinted that corporate organisations are not giving them enough opportunity to contribute their quota to the economic development.
Speaking during a disability employment seminar organised by Star Children Initiative, SCI, in partnership with Ajoke Ayisat Afolabi Foundation, AAAF, Kuye, who commended Lagos State government for enacting a law that protects people living with disability, however said the people are still awaiting the Federal Government to sign the Discrimination Against Persons with Disability Prohibition Bill into law.
“The Lagos State Government has started marking reserved spaces for persons with disabilities to make parking easier for them. “The law further provides that any organisation that operates a parking lot without such provision will be liable to a fine of N100,000 per day. The law has also established a Lagos State Office for Disability Affairs, LASODA to attend to their needs.”
In her own contribution, the Lagos State Commissioner for Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Mrs. Lola Akande, urged companies in the country to utilise the untapped human resources currently easing among the disable youths in the county by proactively recruiting them in their workplaces.
“The World Health Organisation put the total of person with disability in Nigeria at 19 million and majority of these people need to be taken out of poverty for us to attain the Sustainable Development Goals.”
Chief Executive Officer, SCI, Mrs. Grace Alexander Abimbola urged private companies to employ persons with disability in their organisation, “We recognise that youths with disabilities have competences, creativity potentials, assets and skills that are grossly undervalued and utilised due to stigmatization.”