The Center for Infrastructural and Technological Advancement for the Blind (CITAB), has taken a swipe at the federal government for not involving representatives from the disability community as part of the government’s committee since the beginning of the CoronaVirus Pandemic.
The chairman of the group, Jolomi Fenemigho lamented on the unavailability of disabled stakeholders from all the disability clusters as part of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19.
According to Fenemigho, “the federal government has failed to include the disabled community during this difficult time. The disabled community is not included in any decision or policy making committee created to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic. For how long will people speak on behalf of the disabled? When will disability stakeholders occupy seats at the round table?”
Fenemigho expressed disappointment towards the federal government’s actions; especially since the commencement of the lock-down which started on the 30th of March, 2020, reiterating the federal government’s inability and unwillingness to cater for the welfare of the disabled in Nigeria.
According to Fenemigho, Even before the pandemic, the federal government did little or nothing to help the plight of the disabled in Nigeria and right now, why should everyone be surprised at their current disposition towards the disabled, and during this difficult times where Palliative ought to be distributed through the various disability clusters and current information are expected to be disseminated through accessible mediums such as; braille, audio, accessible websites and mobile applications for the blind and low vision, sign language interpreters and SMS lines for the deaf are given out to the disabled community for survival, yet, the disabled are still ignored. Yet again, this is a clear indication that the federal government really don’t care for the welfare and well-being of all persons with disability in Nigeria.”
Fenemigho calls for the creation of a data base for all disabled persons in the country.
According to the CITAB’s boss, “before deciding to distribute palliatives to the disabled, the federal government needs to set-up committees in all states and consult with disability clusters and disability groups to enable them actively participate during this lock-down and collate information of all disabled members.
Fenemigho also spoke on how the palliatives earmarked for the disabled ought to be distributed to help cushion the effects of the lock-down.
All Nigerians are begging for palliatives during this lock-down and the disability community is no exception and special consideration ought to be given to them and the federal government have taken a step in the right direction by providing palliatives for the disabled community. However, the federal government should consult with disable stakeholders from all the disability clusters in Nigeria and they should also be actively involved in the disbursement of palliative amongst the disability community.”
Fenemigho urges the federal government to set up a committee to monitor the distribution of palliatives to the disabled and to bring to book anyone found diverting palliatives.
According to Fenemigho, “The federal government should set up a committee to monitor, record and report the progress of the exercise and also punish those diverting and hoarding palliatives to serve as a deterrent to others.”