By Muhammad Amaan
The Federal Government said it has dedicated 10 per cent of its various social interventions to the support of Persons with Disabilities (PwDs) in Nigeria.
The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Dr Betta Edu, said this while inaugurating various empowerment programmes sponsored by the National Commission for Persons with Disabilities (NCPWD) in Abuja.
She said President Bola Tinubu had directed that the disability community should be given priority in all intervention programmes of government.
Dr Edu added that “Mr President has instructed that the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation should dedicate 10 per cent of all humanitarian and poverty alleviation interventions to persons with disabilities across the country.
“Today is the launch of the empowerment of people living with disabilities. Remember that we are doing conditional cash transfers for 15 million households and out of this figure, 10 per cent is reserved for the disability community.
“So, we are happy and very proud of the disability commission for pushing on all fronts to ensure that the Renewed Hope Agenda is actually achieved.
“We are providing POS machines to persons with disability across all the senatorial districts in Nigeria so that they can be the last mile distributors of this funds to people living in villages and hard to reach areas,” she said.
The minister also announced the donation of N100,000 to each beneficiary of the POS machines to help them kick start their businesses.
“We have also provided not just the POS machines, but the N100,000 capital for them.
“We also gave N130,000 as award of scholarship to physically challenged students in tertiary institutions.
“Beyond this, we have also been able to bring officials of the Corporate Affairs Commission here to carry out proper registration of their businesses, where N20 million has so far been released for that purpose to enable them get to the grassroots.
“Rather than begging, they will be running businesses that will empower them, their society and everyone around them.
“We are having several other interventions like giving out of grants to associations that deal with disabilities.”
Dr Edu also said that the Federal Government is committed to supporting the educational needs of Nigerians, including persons with disabilities.
Earlier, the Executive Secretary of the commission, Mr James Lalu, said that the gesture was aimed at empowering the disability community in Nigeria to become economically self-reliant.
Lalu, who commended the commitment of the Tinubu-led administration for supporting the efforts of the commission in alleviating the plight of persons with disabilities, urged the minister to sustain the tempo.
He urged relevant authorities to expedite action toward ensuring social inclusion of persons with disabilities in the scheme of things.