The Lagos State Ministry of Agriculture has approved the setting up of disability desk to handle disability related matters within the Ministry.
The approval of the setting up of the disability desk, which is first of its kind among all parastatal of Lagos state, will enable the Ministry achieve disability inclusion in all its programs and projects.
This was initiated after the advocacy visit by the Lagos State Chapter of the Joint National Association of Persons with Disabilities, JONAPWD.
While receiving the team from JONAPWD, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Dr. Olayiwole Onasanya, said the Ministry is willing to collaborate and form a partnership with the group by ensuring that their activities and programs are disability sensitive.
Dr. Onasanya inaugurated a committee which would liaise directly with the disability community to ensure that it’s various programs; APPEALS Project, Agricultural trust fund and recruitment captures Persons with disabilities.
In his response, Dr. Adebukola Adebayo, Chairman, JONAPWD Lagos, appreciated the Permanent Secretary for his prompt actions which indicated his interests and support in disability issues.
Dr. Adebayo had earlier presented a position paper by the association which requested that “the Ministry develop a Disability-Inclusion Agric Policy to guide the operations, programs and activities of the Ministry in the area of disability inclusive agric sector in Lagos State. If this is done, this will be the first of its kind not just in Nigeria, but in the entire Africa.”
He also requested for thee “establishment of partnership with the Ministry, In this regard, we propose the setting- up of a Disability-Inclusion Committee comprising of senior Ministry officials and JONAPWD members and other stakeholders to identify areas of partnership and how the partnership can promote disability inclusion in the Ministry and in the agric sector.
“Establishment of a Disability Desk, We propose that a very senior official of the Ministry in the position of a Director be designated as a Disability Champion in the Ministry. This will help the Ministry develop and sustain institutional memory on disability inclusion in the agric sector.
“Appointment and employment of qualified PWDs into the Ministry and its Agencies: We propose that the Ministry, in the spirit of inclusiveness, appoint and employ qualified PWDs into the Ministry and other agric agencies under the Ministry’s supervision. This will help the ministry show the world its clear commitment to disability inclusion in all ramification. JONAPWD will be able to collaborate with the Ministry in identifying qualified and capable PWDs in this regard.
“Provision of 20% quota: We propose that at least 20% quota be allotted to PWDs in all existing programs and activities of the Ministry. This, if implemented and sustained, will help reduce the level of unemployment among PWDs in the State and solve several other socio-economic problems that is confronting the state.
“Implementation of Disability-Focused Agric Programs, We propose that the Ministry, in collaboration with JONAPWD, identify and implement disability-focused agric programs. These will be innovative and effective disability-sensitive disability empowerment agric programs that are peculiar to the various disabilities. This is proposed due to the understanding that not all mainstream agric programs are accessible to PWDs.
“Training of Ministry staff on Disability Inclusion, We propose that Ministry engage with JONAPWD to train its staff on skills and strategies for achieving and sustain disability- inclusive processes and practices. JONAPWD is comprised of trained experts who will be able to support the Ministry in this area”, he added.
The Permanent Secretary granted the request of the association and imm ediate actions were taken.
Executive members of the association were present at the meeting and were received by staff members of Ministry of Agriculture led by the Permanent Secretary