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Fuel Subsidy Removal: JONAPWD Says PWDs are the Worst Hit, Urges FG To Target PWDs On The Planned Palliative

Joint National Association Of Persons With Disabilities (JONAPWD) has expressed deep concerns on the recent move by the Federal Government to immediately discontinue fuel subsidies says Persons With Disabilities are the worst hit.

The National President, JONAPWD, Abdullahi Usman Aliyu expressed this concern in Abuja in a world press conference organized by the group on the current state of affairs in Nigeria.

Mr. Aliyu said that fuel subsidy removal has exacerbated socioeconomic outcomes for persons with disabilities, especially those in rural areas.

“While the intention behind the removal maybe to support the activation of the Nigerian economic recoveries, it is essential to consider the potential drawbacks of such a move on the lives of persons with disabilities”.

“We recognize and respect the pulse of all Nigerians, nevertheless, persons with disabilities largely remain the worst hit.

“On current statistical scaling, persons with disabilities are amongst the largest groups in the 130 million Nigerians who are recently broadcasted as multi-dimensionally poor”.

He pointed out that Nigerians with Disabilities are being hit from all sides by unhealthy realities that are making their lives increasingly difficult.

“As the Federal Government is expected to design measures to cushion the effect of the subsidy removal on the poor and vulnerable Nigerians, The group urged on the following on behalf of all persons with disabilities in Nigeria:

1. Access to the existing and proposed social protection programmes must comprehensively capture the varying needs of all persons with disabilities, with keen focus on women and children with disabilities.The Federal government in designing any palliative measures should take into consideration added vulnerabilities that stem from the historical social exclusion. This implies also developing specific schemes that explicitly promote social inclusion while also providing the required additional support to under-represented groups within the movement such as persons with deaf-blindness and others.

2. An immediate dialogue between stakeholders and meaningful participation of employers, trade union and other civil society groups representative of the diversity of Nigerians including marginalized groups such as organizations of persons with disabilities.”As a matter of urgency, we urge the Executive Secretary, Mr. James David Lalu of the NCPWD to facilitate a meeting between JONAPWD and His Excellency, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu within the next two weeks. This meeting will carry the prime objective to robustly articulate expectations from the government as persons with disabilities while also agreeing ona mutually beneficial“Charter of Demand” he added. They restated their continued support to the Federal Government of Nigeria in its quest to fulfil fundamental realization of rights for all.

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