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NCPWD Urges Increased Funding for Disability Projects: House Committee on Disabilities Visits for Oversight Function

In a pivotal moment for inclusive governance, Dr. James David Lalu, the Executive Secretary of the National Commission for Persons with Disabilities (NCPWD), has emphasized the need for enhanced funding of disability projects during the visit of the Federal House of Representatives’ Committee on Disabilities to the Commission’s Head office in Abuja.

In a press release signed by Mbanefo JohnMichaels Ikechukwu, Head Press and Public Relations Unit, NCPWD, on 26th February 2024, Lalu urged the committee to exercise its constitutional rights in boosting the financial support for disability projects across the 774 local governments in Nigeria. Addressing the historical oversight of disability-related matters by successive governments, he highlighted funding constraints as a major hurdle.

The Executive Secretary traced the journey from the signing of the 18 years Bill into law in 2019 by former President Muhammadu Buhari, leading to the establishment of the NCPWD. Notably, he highlighted President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s commitment by signing the African Protocol on Human Rights and the Rights of Persons with Disabilities into law in October 2023 as part of the Renewed Hope Agenda.

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Lalu underscored the enormity of interventions required for the disability community, calling for collective efforts. He outlined the Commission’s achievements since inception and stressed the importance of constructing a model universal accessibility facility at the Commission’s Headquarters.

Highlighting a staggering 43.3% unemployment rate among Nigerian youths reported by the International Labor Organization in 2016, Lalu emphasized the minimum 5% employment quota for Persons with Disabilities in all Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs).

Chairman of the House Committee on Disabilities, Hon. Dr. Bashir Daodu, echoed the significance of increased funding for disability-inclusive projects nationwide. Referring to Section 4 of the Nigerian constitution, which outlines the oversight functions of the legislature, he pledged legislative support for the enforcement of the Discrimination Against Persons with Disabilities, 2018 (Prohibition) Act.

Hon. Emeka Chinedu, representing Ahiazu/Ezinihitte Federal Constituency of Imo State, stressed the need for adequate funding due to the overwhelming population of persons with disabilities in Nigeria. He advocated for the establishment of a Disability Trust Fund to cater to the needs of over 35 million persons with disabilities.

Committing to collaboration, Hon. Dr. Bashir Daodu assured, “We will stand with you to make Nigeria a better place for all.”

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