By Sikiru Obarayese,
The Nigerian Association of the Blind has threatened to embark on a nationwide protest over the inability of their members to independently access financial services across the country.
The group said the Nigerian Bankers’ Committee in 2012 adopted nine principles which are mainly to promote financial inclusion and women’s economic empowerment and to integrate environmental and social considerations into all bank decision making.
They accused banks in the country of not implementing these principles which would have guaranteed their financial inclusion, adding that this had subjected their members to different forms of hardship in their transactions with the banks, both physically and virtually.
Addressing journalists on Monday in Abuja, the National President of the association, Ishayaku Adamu
said several efforts to call attention to their plights were snubbed.
He specifically stated that executives of the association were yet to get feedback from the letter dated January 28 addressed to all commercial banks in the country and the CBN.
Adamu gave the Central Bank of Nigeria and other relevant authorities one week ultimatum to address the injustice against visually impaired Nigerians.
He noted that failure to do so, the association would mobilise members across the country to take to the streets to press home their demands.
Adamu said, “In 2012 Bankers in the country came up with nine principles which are mainly to promote financial inclusion and women’s economic empowerment and to integrate environmental and social considerations into all bank decision making processes.
“In spite of this, persons with disabilities and not just our members still face ill treatment from bank staff due to gaps in knowledge about inclusion and accessibility and methodology to ensure global best practices that puts into consideration the needs of diverse disability groups.
“For example, we don’t have ATMs with speech, access to loans and other benefits enjoyed by other people. We want a disability desk created to attend to us among others.
“We have made several efforts but all to no avail. We wrote on January 28, 2022, to all banks and the CBN, we are yet to get a response.
“We are, however, giving them one week, after which we would mobilise the over 25 million Nigerians with disabilities for a nationwide protest against this injustice.”