The Albino Foundation, Africa (TAF-Africa) has called on Registrar General of Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) to implement 5percent employment quota and lower registration cost for Persons With Disabilites(PWDs)
The call was made during an advocacy visit to CAC headquarters in Abuja by some leaders of disability led by The Albino Foundation (TAF) now known as TAF-Africa.
Ambassador Jake Epelle, the founder and CEO of TAF-AFRICA in his speech appealed to the Registrar General (RG), CAC to lower the CAC registration cost for persons with disabilities in all forms of registration because persons with disabilites are the poorest of the poor, about 89 percent of persons with disabilites in Nigeria are poor. So they need all the encouragement to enhance their productivity.
Speaking further, he raised the issue of 5 percent of employment quota stipulated in Section 29 of Discrimination against Persons With Disabilites (Prohibition) Act 2018.
He appreciated the RG for the accessible facilities provided in the office and pleaded that it should be extended to the technology being used by the organization to discharge their duties because their website is not inclusive of blind persons.
He suggested that CAC should form a synergy with the disability community by nominating focal persons that will interface with the community to develop a guideline for disability inclusion for the organization.
Alhaji Garba-Abubakar, the Registrar-General of the Corporate Affairs Commission, CAC in his response said that as a public entity who deals with many individuals on daily basis, it is important that persons with disabilites are recognized and their needs well captured. That is why CAC ensured that the entire building including the toilets have facilities that made them accessible for wheelchair users and within the organization, they have persons with disabilites duly employed. They are all accorded due respect and they are enjoying their work.
“It is unfortunate that we haven’t employed for the last ten years due to digitalization which made our work more efficient but it reduces the number of manpower needed”.
He assured that whenever the need for employment arises due to aging staff, persons with disabilites would be considered.
Speaking on registration, he said that in 2015, government slashed the cost of registration by 50 percent and as a self funding agency, it is a big challenge but there are other programs that persons with disabilites can benefit from. For example, Small and Medium Enterprise Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) through their Enterprise Development Program, applicants would be trained on skills, start up capital provided and their business registered for them free. SMEDAN paid for the registration at a discount of 50 percent.
He advised persons with disabilites to take advantage of the program.
He also said that Federal Government during post COVID-19 intervention program registered businesses for applicants across the 36 states and FCT for free where each state got atleast 6,500 applicants apart from Lagos, Kano and Abia that got more. He said that some persons with disabilites must have benefited from the program.
Government paid 20 percent of the official cost to CAC.
On the system of the organization being accessible for all persons with disabilites, the RG said that the system have been improved to the extent that one don’t need to sign any of the documents, since the people have a NIN number. He informed that CAC have integrated their system to be in compliance with NIN. If you don’t have NIN, you can’t use the system.
He assured that his team will interface with disability community to see areas where the system can be improved upon to meet the accessibility standards of all Persons With Disabilites.
Mr. Adewale Soji, Director, Programs, Research and Statistics, National Commission for Persons With Disabilites NCPWD appreciated CAC for creating opportunity to interact with persons with disabilities and TAF-AFRICA for extending the invitation to NCPWD. He informed that NCPWD have been creating awareness on the rights of persons with disabilites and the commission is always open for collaboration, partnership to ensure that the rights of persons with disabilites are upheld.
Comrade Christian Agbo speaking on behalf of the cluster heads, appreciated CAC for providing some accessibility facilities in their office and urged them to create a disability desk officer that will continue to interface with disability community because disability issues keep changing and the office need to move with the trend in order to entrench disability inclusion in the system.
TAF-AFRICA contingents were Jacob Agada, Chairman Nigerian Association of The Blind (NAB) FCT Chapter, Comrade Christian Agbo, Executive Director The Qualitative Magazine and Chairman, National Association of Persons With Physical Disabilites NAPWPD FCT Chapter, Esther Bature from Sightsavers, TAF-AFRICA staff and Representatives of the NCPWD.
All Top management staff of the CAC were also at the meeting.