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Stakeholders call for harmonised data on disability

Stakeholders in Nigeria have called for the harmonisation of various data on Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) collated by the different disability clusters and organisations across the country.

They made the call on Friday in Abuja at the closure of a 3-Day Stakeholders Forum organised by the Center for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD).

The forum was in commemoration of the 4th Anniversary of the passage of the Discrimination Against Persons with Disabilities Prohibition Act.

The stakeholders also called for unity among various clusters in the disability community.

The Executive Director of the Center for Citizens Sustainable Development (CCSD), Benjamin Terver said that for the National Commission for Persons with Disabilities (NCPWs) to effectively carry out its mandates there must be accurately harmonised data from all clusters.

“From our survey we discovered that lack of capacity is one of the major challenges that is hindering the successful implementation of the contents of the national disability law.
“As stakeholders we must understand the demography of our country and the dynamics when carrying out surveys, especially peculiar surveys on disabilities.
“We must also consider comprehensive sexuality factor when carrying these surveys, and finally harmonize the outcome from the different research or surveys.
“This would not just aid the national commission to make plans, but would guide execution of programs accordingly to suit all categories of PWDs
.
Terver said that his organisation was ready to partner with the disability commission to ensure the provision of accurate data through future researchs and surveys.

A representative of the Policy and Legal Advocacy Center (PLAC) Brenda Nwosa, urged the disability groups to join forces in holding accountable those responsible for creating awareness on the contents of the law.

Nwosa also called for synergy in the disability community and urged them to form inter-developmental partnerships to build the capacities of each cluster inspite of individual goals.

“The disability community should start by holding accountable the law makers for the law made.
“This is because majority of the contents of the law are yet to be implemented even at the environs of the law makers.
“If proper monitoring and auditing is done at the national level, implementation at other levels would be easier and would foster unity and peace in the community
.

Mr Kola Ogunbiyi, a representative of African Center for Media and Information Literacy (AFRIMIL) called for the strengthening of the capacities of relevant Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs).

Ogunbiyi said that the MDAs must be equipped with the right knowledge on the law and its content in other to be able to influence changes.

“There is a need to train MDAs, train journalists, train health workers and even development and funding partners on the law and the contents.
“This is key to achieving the needed awareness that would drive the execution and implementation of the law,”
 he said.

The Executive Director of CCD, Mr David Anyaele, said that the disability community was not divided but united and its unity brought about the passage of the national disability law.

He reiterated that data from CCD’s research and surveys on PWDs, access to healthcare, access to airports and other surveys were available to the public and to the disability commission, as well as funding and development partners.

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