By Ere-ebi Agedah
National Commission for Persons with Disabilities NCPWD has commenced the enrolment of 40,000 members of its community into the N-POWER scheme of the federal government targeted at addressing issues of unemployment and increasing social development.
The Executive Secretary of the commission, James David Lalu also expressed gratitude to the federal government for reserving 10 percent of all its social programs for persons with disabilities.
Lalu, who disclosed this in Abuja, during a meeting with other Stakeholders from the 36 States of the Federation on Disability Inclusion Projects, explained that the meeting is to allocate the 40,000 of PWDs N-POWER slots to the 36 States.
According to Lalu, it had become imperative for the disability community in Nigeria to be properly included in all government programs.
He noted that the stakeholders meeting was the first of its kind as a platform to ensure that the disability community have a platform of continuous engagement with stakeholders for a better roadmap that will benefit the community in Nigeria.
While commending state governments that had domesticated the discrimination against Persons with Disabilities Act he called on state governments that are yet to implement theirs to act on it with all sense of urgency.
‘‘We have partnership with the ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, through this partnership we have been able to raise 100,000 PWDs worldwide who are benefiting from the conditional cash transfer program. At the moment we have over 40,000 that are expected to be a part of the N-Power program and their enrollment will start immediately after this stakeholders meeting, certain numbers will be allocated to the various 36 states of the federation. We need our stakeholders to identify persons who are truly living with disability.
‘‘It is our hope that this meeting will birth the establishment of a National Council on Disability Affairs in Nigeria and with this we will have our footings and proper representation in the 36 states of the federation, so that when we have interventions, we will have existing strong and capable hands that can verify credible PWDs’’ he said
Also, the Minister of Humanitarian, Sadiya Umar Farouq, who was represented by Dr, Umar Bindir, noted that all the programs of the ministry are highly inclusive and sensitive to the requirements and the participation of Persons with Disabilities.
The 40,000 PWDs N-POWER enrolment is expected to start immediately after the two days stakeholders meeting.