Centre for Citizens with Disabilities, a non-governmental organisation, has expressed concern about the exclusions of Persons With Disabilities, PWDs, in the ministerial list of the present administration.
In a news conference in Abuja on Friday, the Executive Director of the organisation, David Anyaele, described the exclusion as unsatisfactory development to the entire Nigeria disability community.
Anyaele said that the exclusion was also a total disregard to the provision in Part 6, Section 29 of the Discrimination Against PWDs (Prohibition) Act 2018.
News Agency of Nigeria reports that President Muhammadu Buhari submitted a list of 43 ministerial nominees to the Senate for screening and confirmation in which no PWDs was included.
“We want to raise awareness over the exclusion of Nigerians with disabilities in the president’s ministerial nominees list and the delay in the implementation of the act by the government.
He requested that the president should send no fewer than three competent names of PWDs as ministerial nominees to enable them to join other nominees for screening and confirmation at the Senate.
“We demand the implementation of Part 7, Section 31 of the Discrimination Against PWDs (Prohibition) Act without further delay through establishment of a national commission for persons with disabilities,’’ he said.
Anyaele noted that the commission would be responsible for the educational needs, provision of health care, social welfare, economic and civil rights of the PWDs.
He urged the leadership of the National Assembly to appoint PWDs as personal assistants and aids to fill the five per cent employment reservation for PWDs in the assembly to integrate them into society.
According to him, prior to the passage of the Discrimination Against PWDs (Prohibition) Act, Nigeria committed itself at the UN Convention on the Rights of PWDs to protect their rights to work on an equal basis with others.
He said that Nigeria also signed to prohibit discrimination on all matters concerning employment, including conditions of recruitment, hiring and continuance of employment, career advancement and safe and healthy working conditions.
Anyaele, however, noted that the unemployment rate of PWDs was still on the rise estimated to be more than 97 per cent in the country with many employers of labour assuming that PWDs were not fit to work.
NAN recalls that the component of the Discrimination Against PWDs (Prohibition) Act provides that a person with disability shall not be discriminated against on the grounds of his disability by any person or an institution in any manner or circumstance.
The act also provides that “all employers of labour in the public organisation shall as much as possible have persons with disabilities constituting at least five per cent of their employment’’.
Centre for Citizens with Disabilities is a charitable organisation aimed at protecting, promoting and safeguarding the rights and privileges of persons with disability through public enlightenment in civic education, human rights and public policy.