By Ere-ebi Agedah
Persons living with disabilities in Nigeria have commended the federal government for mandating ministries, departments and agencies to comply with the provision of section 29 of the Discrimination Against Persons With Disabilities Act which provides at least 5 per cent of employment opportunities for its community.
Addressing newsmen in Abuja on Wednesday, the Executive Secretary, National Commission for Persons with Disabilities, NCPWD, James David Lalu expressed gratitude to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha for issuing a service-wide circular to all federal government agencies to this effect.
Lalu revealed that the Federal Character Commission, FCC is working with the NCPWD to ensure the actualisation of this five per cent employment slots.
He appealed to all agencies of the federal government who have from onset enjoyed a waiver to henceforth ensure that the number of employment opportunities approved for the disabilities community by office of Head of Service of the Federation is allocated to them.
The NCPWD boss further noted that the commission has commenced an enquiry into the number of its members in the employ of federal government agencies to enable it conduct an appraisal of them.
“We have a database that captures almost 200,000 persons living with disabilities including their qualifications.
“Let the agencies forward their requests, we are ready to support them provide the necessary qualified persons from our community.
“We are not asking them to adjust their qualification requirements for our members but what we are saying is that every type of qualification that may be required, we have them in our database, they are people who are willing and ready to serve their country in whatever position and capacity they might be required to do so.
“We are calling on all MDAs to immediately comply with that circular in line with the extant laws that provide these windows of opportunity for the disability community” he said.
According to Lalu, the NCPWD is also making efforts to enroll its members into the N-POWER, NSITF and other programmes of the federal government to ensure that they are granted economic access.
However, he applauded the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Social Development, Sadiya Umar Farouq for supporting the persons with disabilities with empowerment packages.