Civil Society Organizations in Lagos under the umbrella of Lagos State Civil Society Participation for Development (LACSOP) have demanded that the Lagos State Year 2023 budget make provision for the Disability Empowerment Fund of at least N500m and its release in 2022:
LACSOP noted that the Disability Empowerment Fund has budgetary provisions in previous budgets towards the actualization of the implementation of the Lagos State Special People Law, noting that the fund will support the Early Intervention Centre (for early diagnosis of children with Disability); Disability Support and Resource Centre at 5 LDAs in the first instance.
The group also requested the creation of a budget line for inclusive education for the 13 secondary schools and 31 primary schools for persons with disabilities in the state.
While delivering the Joint CSO Submission to the Hon Commissioner of Economic Planning & Budget at the Y2023 Budget Consultative Forum, Barrister Ayo Adebusoye, Chairman, Board of Trustees of LACSOP explained that the budget line for inclusive education will cover the cost of essential learning aids, electricity/generators and renovation of the schools’ infrastructure to ensure it is accessible.
Adebusoye, on behalf of the CSOs, also requested budgetary provision for the establishment of 12 model inclusive schools (i.e. 2 in each educational district) out of the existing 44 inclusive schools in accordance with Lagos State Inclusive Education policy.
He added that there is a need to establish one model inclusive secondary school in the Lagos Island/Eti-Osa/Ibeju Lekki axis to stop the drop out being currently experienced by pupils with disability in those LGAs.
LACSOP also demanded that the budget provision for Equity Fund should cover premiums of the most vulnerable comprising 1% of the Consolidated Revenue Fund in compliance with the Lagos State Health Management Agency (LASHMA) Law 2015.
While responding to the demands of the CSO groups, the Lagos State Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget, Mr Sam Egube noted that the demands would be considered considering the interest of the Lagos State government in ensuring that the needs of citizens are met.
He also shared some of the progress that has been achieved in various sectors of the economy.
LACSOP’s representatives at the meeting were; Rev Bola Nuga, Barr. Ayo Adebusoye, Amb. Iruoma Ofortube, Mrs Olubummi Francis, and Mr Abiodun Ajayi.