The National Assembly will ensure that the National Disability Commission is established by the president in accordance with the provision of the National Disability Law, an official of NASS has said.
Clerk, House Committee on Information Jekop Dan-Alih gave the assurance on Thursday in Abuja at an experience-sharing forum with committees of the National Assembly, NASS, and line ministries, departments and agencies.
Represented by Yakubu Ayatu-Kadin, Dan-Alih said that the commission was imperative to the implementation and enforcement of both the transitioning and non-transitioning provisions of the law.
Also, Yakubu Argungun-Mohammed, Clerk Senate Committee on Youth and Sport Development, noted that the commission would be placed under the appropriate committee for the purpose of oversight.
In his remarks, Mustapha Sadiq, Clerk House Committee on Human Rights, said that whether there was a budgetary provision or not for the commission, it was paramount to ensure its establishment and the effective implementation of the law.
He noted that the existence of the commission would guide stakeholders on ways of collaborating and partnering for the effective implementation of the law.
He also assured the public that the commission would be properly placed under an appropriate committee for oversight.
Dr Fatima Waziri-Azi, Rule of Law Advisor in the office of the vice-president, advised Persons with Disabilities, PWDs, and Organisations of PWDs, OPDs, not to relent in lobbying, engaging, advocating and pushing for the establishment of the commission.
According to her, if the commission is not established and the content of the law is not implemented or enforced, the law will only be a paper type of law.
“Centre for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD) and other OPDs should engage stakeholders, pay courtesy visits to relevant agencies, write letters and make proposals.
“When everyone is saying the same thing, I am sure the president will do the right thing by setting up the commission because it is a very vital step to the operationalization of the act,’’ she said.
She, however, advised CCD and OPDs not to focus only on the federal law, but to push for the domestication of the law at state levels.
Waziri-Azi reiterated her commitment to supporting the movement for the establishment of the commission and the implementation of the law by offering tangible assistance, granting access, and giving advice.
Mr David Anyaele, Executive Director of CCD, appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to justify the enactment of the law by establishing the commission as prescribed by the law.
This, he said, would reduce the frustration and the burdens on the lives of Nigerians with disabilities.
He decried that one year had gone since the enacted of the law and that more would be lost, if nothing was done to bring the law to live.
Odunayo Bolarinde, a representative of the Federal Ministry of Justice, urged agencies to considerately look at the disability law and its content from a humanitarian aspect.
He also urged line ministries, departments and agencies to have recourse to the ministry by giving advice, making recommendations and making budgetary proposal also to NASS in conjunction with the ministry.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Discrimination against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Act 2018, also known as National Disability Act, was passed by the 8th session of the National Assembly.
It was assented to by Buhari on Jan. 17, 2019 and made public on Jan. 23, 2019.
The act contains provisions for establishment of National Commission for Persons with Disabilities to address complaints of harassment, discrimination and harmful practices, among others.
It also contains provisions that ensure people with disabilities in Nigeria are protected against discrimination and harmful treatment, cruelty and inhuman treatment, access to public building, protection at situation of risk and humanitarian emergencies, among others.
The forum was organised by Centre for Citizens with Disabilities to commemorate the first year anniversary of the passage of the Discrimination Against Persons with Disability Act 2019.