Wednesday, April 17, 2024
HomeNEWSHouse of Representatives Launches Landmark Investigation Into Compliance with Disability Act

House of Representatives Launches Landmark Investigation Into Compliance with Disability Act

In a groundbreaking move, the House of Representatives has initiated a comprehensive investigation into the compliance of Ministries, Departments, and Agencies of the Government with the Disability Act, officially known as the Discrimination against Persons with Disabilities Prohibition Act 2018. This legislative effort aims to ensure the protection of the rights of persons with disabilities and promote their overall welfare, a mandate set forth by the National Assembly.

Despite the passage of the Disability Act, concerns about its effective implementation have arisen since the expiration of the grace period in January. The Chairman of the House Committee on Disabilities matters, Hon. Dr. Bashiru Dawodu, announced this significant development during the signing and validation of a partnership Charter between Aviation stakeholders and Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) travelers. This ceremony also included the handing over of disabilities service desks and equipment to the National Commission for Persons with Disabilities, organized by the non-governmental organization Center for Ability, Rehabilitation, and Empowerment (CARE).

Mr. Dawodu highlighted the historic nature of this investigation, emphasizing its comprehensiveness and dedication to protecting the rights and welfare of persons with disabilities. He commended the proactive approach of the Speaker of the House, Dr. Abbas Tajudeen, in addressing disability-related issues by appointing a committee specifically for this purpose.

The Chairman stressed the committee’s commitment to monitoring government agencies’ adherence to the Disabilities Act, with a focus on critical areas such as recruitment, housing, transportation, and healthcare. He urged stakeholders to familiarize themselves with the legislation and pledged to facilitate robust stakeholder engagement to shape future initiatives under the Disabilities Act.

Key provisions of the Disabilities Act highlighted by Mr. Dawodu include access to public buildings, employment quotas, and the promotion of welfare for persons with disabilities. He particularly called attention to the role of the Ministry of Information in raising awareness about persons with disabilities, ensuring their inclusion in public discourse.

Director of Research and Documentation at the Association of Lawyers with Disability in Nigeria (ALDIN), Yusuf Iyodo, expressed the association’s unwavering commitment to advocating for the rights of persons with disabilities and addressing systemic barriers they face. He urged collaboration among stakeholders, including government agencies, civil society organizations, and the general public, to eliminate discrimination and promote inclusivity for persons with disabilities in Nigeria.

Addressing the Aviation Project, Chief Responsibility Officer of CARE, Dr. Chike Okogwu, outlined its goal of ensuring equitable access to air travel for all individuals, regardless of physical or cognitive abilities. The partnership charter between Aviation stakeholders and PWDs signifies a concerted commitment to addressing challenges faced by persons with disabilities in accessing air transportation and implementing sustainable solutions.

Key objectives of the partnership charter include the improvement of physical infrastructure at airports, implementation of training programs for aviation personnel on disability rights, and the promotion of inclusive policies and services within the aviation industry.

Chioma Offor, Head of Commercial and Business Development at the Nigeria Aviation Handling Company Plc, stressed the importance of proactive communication for individuals with disabilities when purchasing tickets, ensuring necessary arrangements are made to accommodate passengers with disabilities.

This legislative initiative and collaborative efforts signify a pivotal step towards creating a more inclusive and accessible environment for persons with disabilities in Nigeria.

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