The Centre for Citizens with Disabilities, CCD has said the Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB provides an uncommon opportunity to write the wrongs against persons with disabilities, PWDs in the Niger Delta.
This was disclosed in a press statement signed by David Anyaele, Executive Director, CCD, in its position on the Bill which seeks to provide Legal, Governance, Regulatory and Fiscal Framework for the Nigeria Petroleum Industry, the Development of Host Community and other Related Matters.
CCD had observed that oil and gas explorations in Nigeria are conducted at the detriment of persons with disabilities adding that, PWDs suffer more whenever pollution occurs in the Niger Delta region.
The statement reads in part that, “we are concern that virtually all the support given to host communities by reason of oil and gas explorations are not accessible to persons with disabilities and they are not consulted, neither are their issues mainstreamed in the conversation.
“Painfully, the activities and contaminants being pushed into the environment as a result of oil and gas explorations in the Niger Delta region, sometime leads to still birth and birth with different from of disability (hearing disorder, blindness, physical challenged etc.)
“Therefore, It is justice for all to demand that the Bill for an Act to provide Legal, Governance, Regulatory and Fiscal Framework for the Nigeria Petroleum Industry, the Development of Host Community and other Related Matters (HB.1061) provide a certain percentage of not less than 5% of projects and activities should therefore be set aside for the benefit of persons with disabilities in the Host Community Development Trust Fund.”
CCD proposed amendment to some sections of the Bill which include; “242: (a) Settlor shall ensure that members of the Board of Trustees are inclusive of women and persons with disabilities
“247. (a.i.b) three representatives, women, person with disability inclusive of the Host Community, who shall be nominated by the Host Community as non-executive members.
“251. 3(a.i.b) consulted with and considered the reasonable concerns of women, youths, persons with disabilities and Community leaders
“252. We request that you add (h) to read as follows: ensure that all initiatives are inclusive and accessible to persons with disabilities.”
CCD also appreciated “the leadership of the House of Representatives, in particular the Chairman House Ad-hoc Committee on Petroleum Industry Bill for the opportunity to present our position on the PIB Bill.”