By Asmau Ahmad
The Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Hajiya Aisha Abubakar, has tasked stakeholders on proper implementation of the Persons With Disabilities Act and prosecution of violators.
Abubakar gave the task during a stakeholders meeting and development of an implementation strategy for popularisation of the Discrimination against Persons With Disabilities (Prohibition) Act on Thursday in Abuja.
Represented by the Director of Rehabilitation, Mrs Nkechi Onuwukwe, the minister said the meeting was aimed at acquainting stakeholders with the provisions of the Act and to come up with a drafting imply strategy for the new Act.
“The signing of the Nigerian Disability Law by the President has demonstrated this administration’s transparency and empathy towards this vulnerable group.
“It is the first time in the history of our nation that PWDs are being given their rightful place and attention officially focused on them to highlight their issues and concerns.
“Thus, in a bid to popularise some of the provisions of the new Act, among stakeholders, and equally develop implementation strategies in order to prioritise some the provisions, this meeting has become very important,’’ she said.
Abubakar however called on the stakeholders to work together to ensure that millions of Nigerians living with disabilities were given a sense of belonging, adding that all hands must be on deck to achieve.
The Chairman, Nigeria Association of the Blind, FCT, Mr Ekujeronye Obinna, said although the bill had lingered for 18 years, appreciated the president for signing the bill into law.
“No stone should be left unturned, the implementation should be done to fullest and the establishment of Commission for PWDs will address the plight of PWDs in the country.
“At least PWDs who are educated could have jobs and it will go a long way to address unemployment,’’ he said.
The Permanent Secretary, Mrs Ifeoma Anagbogu, who was represented by the Assistant Director Rehabilitation, Mr Sunday Hezekiah, said the meeting would awake the consciousness and responsibilities towards the global realisation PWDs welfare and the need to pay attention as one of the most important social units of every community.