Diri instructs stakeholders on the dispensation of justice


The National Commission for Persons with Disabilities (NCPWD) held a town hall meeting in Calabar to sensitize Nigerians on the need to end discrimination in the employment of persons with disabilities.
The theme of the meeting was: “Employment, a Necessity for a Better Life for Persons with Disabilities (PWD) in Nigeria”.
At the meeting, he sought to raise awareness of sections 28 and 29 of the Disability Discrimination Act 2018, which required 5% of disabled people to employ.
He also tasked people with disabilities to overcome all obstacles in developing themselves both academically and in acquiring skills, to enable them to access employment and other opportunities.
Speaking at the meeting, the Executive Secretary of NCPWD, Mr. James Lalu said that people with disabilities have the ability to work and contribute to the growth of any society and should be given the opportunity to do so.
Represented by Ms. Philomena Konwea, South-South representative on the Commission, he noted that persons with disabilities should be prepared to seize opportunities as the Commission would continue to push for the application of the 5% employment of persons with disabilities.
“People with disabilities should use the opportunities available to qualify for internships by improving their educational qualifications and be available for technical training that would give them better opportunities.
“Additionally, we sensitize them to register and collect INEC permanent voter cards and also participate in politics,” he said.
Similarly, Mr. Ikem Uchegbulam, Acting Director of Compliance and Enforcement, NCPWD, said that they are moving around the country to sensitize people about the law and how they will soon start its enforcement to comply.
“We will soon begin to invoke the powers we have in law, so that people with disabilities also benefit from jobs, appointments and placements,” he said.
Uchegbulam called on South-South governments to operationalize the law in their states, adding that according to World Health Organization (WHO) data, Nigeria has around 35.1 million people with disabilities on standby when the Commission will end its data collection.
Cross River State Service Chief Timothy Akwaji said the government is already enforcing the law in the state, after passing the bill for 5% of the workforce in the State be disabled.
However, a PWD, Daniel Akpan, said most ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) in the state do not comply with the 5% provision of the law, adding that many of them are university graduates and law-abiding citizens but were still unemployed.
“We don’t ask too much, don’t deny us the 5% employment bracket, so that we can also make our contribution to the development of our society,” he said.

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