In commemoration of the International Day for Persons with Disabilities (IDPD), the Inclusive Friends Association (IFA) and its allies on the Access Nigeria Campaign have called for improved implementation of the Discrimination against Persons with Disability (Prohibition) Act 2018.
IFA in a statement signed by its Executive Director, Grace Jerry also called for improved electoral participation of PWDs with the aim of ensuring more PWDs attain leadership positions.
Highlighting the relevance of the 2021 IDPD, IFA noted that, “the focus of this year theme which is “Leadership and Participation towards an inclusive, accessible and sustainable post COVID-19 World”, is to ascertain PWDs inclusion through the provision of adequate systems, structures, and processes that accommodate PWDs access to and participation in public life on an equal basis with other citizens.
IFA thereafter urged “governments to engage persons with disabilities in the democratic process, to combat discrimination and abuse counter prejudice, and to protect their rights and ensure their inclusion in all facets of life on an equal basis with other people.”
The association also called on the government to “speed up implementation of the Discrimination Against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Act 2018 to enable the communities of PWDs deploy their huge potentials, values, talents, and contributions to the country and global community.”
It was also noted that all Ministries, Departments & Agencies (MDAs) responsible for implementing the Disability Act should develop policies that will ensure the implementation of the Disability Act.
The statement reads in part that, “we call on the executive and National Assembly to ensure that the National Commission for Persons with Disabilities is fully funded in the 2022 appropriation bill, now being considered by the latter, and other budgets in the years to come.
“We call on all DPOs, PWDs, other Nigerian citizens and the international community to support the National Commission for Persons with Disabilities in implementing policies that would help PWDs cope with the COVID-19 pandemic.”
IFA noted that it will be holding a stakeholder’s roundtable on December 13, 2021 to build advocacy on the need for improved electoral accessibility for PWDs and the need to effectively implement the Discrimination against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Act, 2018.