Hajiya Aisha Abubakar, Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, on Monday reiterated the Federal Government’s commitment towards improving the lives of Persons Living with Disabilities (PLWDs).
Abubakar disclosed this while addressing a news conference to commemorate the International Day of Persons with Disabilities in Abuja.
“It is only when people are empowered that they can better be prepared to take advantage of opportunities available to them.
“They become agents of change and are more available to embrace their civic responsibilities.
“The theme we chose is: Breaking down the Barriers
“Barrier separates, but love attracts. Let’s remove the barriers and embrace love,” she said.
Abubakar further said that the ministry, through its mandate and collaboration with various stakeholders, implemented numerous programmes, aimed at ameliorating the barriers faced by PWDs through the rehabilitation department.
She disclosed that activities to observe the day included distribution of aids and assistive appliances to PWDs, capacity building, empowerment programmes and measurement of amputees, from Niger and FCT.
“This will be distributed to the beneficiaries from Dec. 4 to 6 at the committee room of the National Centre for Women Development.
“This project is being implemented in partnership with ISHK prosthetic limbs centre, which believes that there is much to be done, to ensure full inclusion of PWDs, “she said.
She listed major barriers affecting PWDs to include lack of relevant assistive technology, negative attitude towards disability, transportation barriers, social barriers, and programmatic barriers.
She said the major manifestation barrier was physical barriers to public buildings without ramps.
Abubakar said the observance was aimed at creating awareness on barriers to be broken, doors to be opened, individual attitude and government policies towards PWDs to be changed.
This according to her, would guarantee the PWDs inclusion to the society.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the International Day of Persons with Disabilities is marked every Dec. 3 globally.
It is not a work free day, but an observance, promoted by the United Nations since 1992.
It aims to promote the rights and well-being of persons with disabilities in all spheres of society and development.
It also aims to increase the awareness of their situations in every aspect of their life, polically, socially, economically and politically.
The theme for 2018 is: “Empowering persons with Disabilities and Ensuring Inclusiveness and Equity.” (NAN)