By Favour Nnabugwu
ALL things being equal, physically challenged persons in the country may have reasons to smile as efforts are on to convince the Federal Government to raise the recruitment of persons with disability to 10 per cent from the present 2 per cent and equally increase their working allowance.
Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Disability Matters, Dr Samuel Ankeli, at the official launch of the Baseline Survey of Persons with Disability, PWD, in the Federal Civil Service in Abuja, said a memorandum would be sent through the Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, to President Muhammadu Buhari to work out improved welfare for them.
Ankeli said PWD spent more money on transportation to and from their various offices on a daily basis hence their working allowance needed to be increased.
He said that the Nigerian community of disability would also push for the establishment of a commission for PWD that will take care of the needs.
According to him: “It is nice that the president wants to improve our lives, and of course, those who are academically trained with educational qualification for employment have not been given their fair share by the federal civil service. It is a normal government procedure to improve policy where there is the need.
There is a policy decision and the Head of Service with her team will prepare a document for the attention of Mr. President and see how we can do things as urgently as we can, and at least increase the recruitment quota for the people with disabilities from the negligible two per cent to 10 per cent and of course, provide working allowance to cushion the expenses and extra stress of people working with disabilities in the federal civil service.
I am sure with proper document and a memo to Mr. President, the relevant actions will be taken and the lives of people with disabilities in this particular sector will be improved upon.”
Speaking in commemoration of the International Day for Persons with Disabilities, the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Mrs Winifred Oyo-Ita said her office was working to see how the working condition of the civil servants could be improved upon.
Oyo-Ita said it was the first time federal civil service would carry out a survey of the disabled persons in the civil service, saying: “The essence of this survey is to find out first of all the number of persons, the various kinds of disabilities and how we can provide a better work environment for these persons living with disabilities.
“We want to see how we can project into the future the possibilities of recruiting more into the service. As it is, if we are not able to provide a better work environment for them, it will be difficult for us to plan against the number coming in.