Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouq
By Joseph Erunke, Abuja
THE federal government has reiterated its commitment to support and provide conducive environment for people living with disabilities in the country.
This came as it expressed concern over ineffective implementation of some portions of Persons with Disability Act, saying a lot needed to be done.
Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar Farouq, speaking Monday,at a press conference to commemorate the 2022 International Day of Persons with Disabilities, PWDs,noted that giving the needed support to the persons living with disabilities and their leadership was important for the realization of their potentials.
According to Farouq, doing so would equally enable them live a fulfilled live and make meaningful contribution to societal growth and development.
She noted that taking such step will be in line with the implementation of the 2030 Development Agenda.
The minister said:”I want to assure you that the Federal Government will continue to be disability sensitive in supporting and providing a conducive environment towards promoting the participation of persons with disabilities and their leadership for the realization of their potentials, to enable them live a fulfilled live and make meaningful contribution to societal growth and development.
“This will be in line with the implementation of the 2030 Development Agenda.”
“It is only when people are empowered, involved and included that they can better be prepared to take advantage of opportunities: they become agents of change and are more available to embrace their civic responsibilities.
“I urge all of us to avail ourselves of the opportunities presented through the events of this year’s celebration and beyond to appreciate and celebrate our brothers and sisters living with disabilities.”
The minister spoke further:”In committing to the realization of the 2030 agenda for sustainable development, the Federal Government remains committed towards doing her best to cater for the needs of all her citizens, persons with disabilities inclusive, for national development; where no one is left behind.”
She said:””In recent years, disability issues are now placed at the front burner of national developments.
“It is pertinent to note that following Mr. President’s assent to the Discrimination Against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Act, a lot has changed regarding issues of disability in the country.
“These have helped in no small measure in promoting the participation of Persons with Disabilities in all aspects of life and their aspiring to leadership and decision making positions.
” It is worthy of note equally that a lot of states has equally followed suite to domesticate the Act into laws in their various states.
“Recently, Abia, Edo and Kano states passed their own laws. However, a lot still need to be done towards the effective implementation of the provisions of the Act, especially in the areas of accessibility, advocacy and sensitization among others.”
Farouq explained that “Nigeria as a member nation of the UN joins the comity of nations to mark this day in line with the United Nations General Assembly Resolution 47/3 of October 14th, 1992 which proclaimed 3rd December of every year as “International Day of Persons with Disabilities”.
She further said:”This is to achieve the aims of awakening the consciousness of all member states towards encouraging and promoting activities that will bring issues of disability in the front burner in both national and international circles, as well as celebrating Persons with Disabilities.
“The annual observance of the Day aims at promoting an understanding of disability issues and mobilizing supports for the dignity, rights and well-being of Persons with Disabilities, as well as serving as a wake-up call to all stakeholders on the needs of Persons with Disabilities, in order to intensify efforts towards improving their situations.
“As a country, we have been celebrating this Day since 1994 however this year, the Ministry will only mark it with this Press Conference, aimed at celebrating millions of PWDs in Nigeria as well as show-casing our achievements in the disability spheres recently.
“Over the years, this day has been celebrated with a theme and sometimes sub-themes chosen to reflect on a particular burning issue in the area of disability.
“The theme for this year’s International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPWDs) is “Transformative solutions for inclusive development: the role of innovation in fuelling an accessible world”.