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Hajia Sadiya Umar-Farouq, Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development.

By Joseph Erunke

MINISTER of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management, and Social Development, Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouq, Friday, inaugurated the Governing Council of the National Commission For Persons with Disabilities.

Speaking at the inauguration ceremony in Abuja, Farouq said that Commission was established based on the desire of the federal government to bring an end to the years of exclusion of persons with disabilities.

Umar Farouq said that the establishment of the commission will go a long way in alleviating the suffering of Persons With Disabilities including seeing to their education, general wellbeing, employment, and economic development.

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She charged the 7-man Governing Council to carry out their duties diligently and adhere strictly to their terms of reference.

“On my assumption of office as Minister, I was confronted with the yearnings for the implementation of the Discrimination Against Persons With Disabilities (Prohibition Act 2019) which establishes the National Commission for Persons with Disabilities.

“You were carefully selected on the recommendations of highly placed Nigerians. I, therefore, challenge you to bring to bear your expertise in putting in your best, devoid of personal enrichment to support the commission to deliver the dividends of democracy to Persons With Disabilities”, she said.

Minister Umar Farouq also thanked the President and Commander- in -Chief of the Armed Forces, President Muhammadu Buhari, for signing the bill into an act and also approving the appointment of the Chairman and members of the council.

She charged the members with the responsibility of ensuring the inclusion and welfare of persons with disabilities as enshrined in the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Law in Nigeria.

In his goodwill message, the Senator for Imo West constituency, Osita Izunaso, thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for assenting to the Bill for Discrimination against Persons With Disabilities and appealed to the Minister to ensure the domestication of the commission in all the states of the federation.

In his acceptance speech on behalf of the members, the Chairman of the National Commission For Persons With
Disabilities, Dr. Husseini Kangiwa, expressed gratitude to the minister for counting them worthy of serving on the board.

“I thank the President for the confidence reposed in me by appointing me the Chairman of this commission,” he said, adding:”I also thank the Senate of the Republic of Nigeria for their quick confirmation of our nomination.”

“We are aware of the task ahead of us and we will ensure that we build a good foundation for the commission as well as develop policies and programmes that will enable us to meet the needs of Persons With Disabilities within the limit of our resources,” he further said.

He spoke further:“There is ability in Disability and I assure you that we will fully integrate all Persons with disabilities in the society with respect to their education, social, economic and civil rights. We shall fully comply with the provision of the Act and also incorporate all stakeholders inclusive of ministries, agencies, and departments”.

The President, Joint National Association of Persons With Disabilities, Ms. Judith Ekaette Umoh, and the Vice President, Nigeria National Association of the Deaf, Haruna Mohammed, presented plaques to President Buhari and the Minister to show appreciation over his gesture to the persons living with disabilities.

Other members of the governing council are Ms. Amina Rahma Audu, (North West) Ms. Philomena Konwea, (South-South) Mrs. Esther A. Awu, (North Central) Abba Audu Ibrahim, ( North East) Omopariola Busuyi ( South West) Jaja Oparaku (South East) and James Lanu who will serve as the Executive Secretary (North Central).

The commission is charged with the responsibility of seeing to the welfare, support, and protection of Persons With Disabilities.

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