The Ekiti State House of Assembly has given an assurance it would enhance the full participation and inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in the 2022 Budget process in the state.
This commitment was made by the Speaker of the Ekiti State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Funminiyi Afuye and the Chairperson House Committee on Finance and Appropriation, Hon. Mrs. Olubunmi Adelugba while playing host to the team from Disability Not A Barrier Initiative (DINABI).
The Executive Director of DINABI, Mr. Funso Olajide while commending the House for the prompt reading and passage of the Discrimination Against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Law 2020 which was subsequently signed into law by the Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi, also applauded the 6th Assembly for their resilient to entrench values and ensure dividends of democracy reach all and sundry.
The Chairman of JONAPWD in Ekiti state, Mr Owolabi Kayode who also accompanied DINABI team urged the house to use its oversight function to ensure the optimal performance of the budget just as he lamented that despite the inclusion of disability issues in the 2021 budget, little has been implemented.
He also used the opportunity to appreciate the Fayemi led administration for the appointment of an SSA to the governor as well as Board Members for the Ekiti State Agency for Persons with Disabilities.
He called for the quick commencement of operations of the board without further delay.
The speaker, Rt Hon. Funminiyi Afuye appreciated the team from DINABI for the timely visit and pledged that the house shall continually include persons with disabilities in all its activities.
He encouraged the disability community to articulate their needs and submit appropriately towards inclusion in the 2022 budget.
He also said several laws have been passed by the 6th Assembly that either directly or indirectly affects persons with disabilities such as Ekiti Gender-Based Violence Law, Equal Opportunity Law, Ekiti State Mental Health Bill 2021, etc.
The chairperson, House Committee on Finance and Appropriation, Hon Mrs. Bunmi Adelugba said the visit by the DINABI team was timely as the budget process is almost underway.
She said the issues of persons with disabilities are at the heart of the committee at all times, stressing that the committee will leave no stone unturned to ensure the needs of persons with disabilities in Ekiti state are included in the 2022 budget.
She promised that invitation shall be extended to persons with disabilities in all stages of the Budget process.
The advocacy visit by the DINABI team was part of its ongoing project titled “Advocacy for Inclusion” which aims to strengthen the understanding of duty bearers on the concept of inclusion.
It also aimed at encouraging duty bearers to allow for the full participation and inclusion of PWDs in all societal issues while also increasing awareness on disability rights and issues across the board.