By Asma’u Ahmad
The Federal Government has inaugurated the technical committee for the review of the National Policy on Albinism.
The Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, inaugurated the committee on Wednesday in Abuja.
Adamu, who was represented by Mr Sonny Echono, the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, said the review of the policy was necessary because of the emerging issues and challenges confronting the albinism community in Nigeria.
According to him, the issues need to be addressed and the review of the policy will facilitate improved lives of persons with albinism through access to social services such as education, healthcare and employment.
He added that it would also reduce stigma, discrimination and ensure the inclusion of persons with albinism into the socio-economic development of the country.
Adamu explained that the ministry had resolved to help those living with disability in one way or the other including ensuring albinos get the real sense of existence without discrimination.
He said the mandate of the policy would be expanded as it was ready to invite other stakeholders to look critically into the challenges of the group.
“The 14-man committee that has been constituted is saddled with reviewing the existing policy to conform to international best practices with emerging issues.
“It will ensure that all critical stakeholders are carried along to close the gap on issues relating to albinism and disability.
“It will also address the issues of non-implementation of policies and as well present a workable framework that will capture the current needs of persons with albinism,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Albino Foundation, Mr Jake Epelle, said the major issues disturbing albinism should be addressed by the government.
Epelle noted that Nigerians with Albinism would no longer be victims of social stigma and inequalities.
This, according to him, is with the help of the United Nations and critical stakeholders who are focused on empowering persons with albinism as well as educating the society on issues relating to albinism.