Reps Call For Improved Funding For Disability Commission

The House of Representatives Committee on Disability has called for increased funding of the National Commission for Persons with Disabilities, NCPWD.

Chairman of the Committee, Dr Bashir Daodu, made the call on Wednesday when he led other members of his committee on an oversight visit to the Commission’s headquarters in Abuja.

Mr Daodu said increased funding for the commission would enable it to execute critical programmes, like creating awareness on disability inclusion across the nation.

He stressed the determination of the committee to partner with the commission to advance the protection and promotion of the rights and privileges of Persons With Disabilities, PWDs, in Nigeria.

He also said that the committee would work with other stakeholders to ensure adequate implementation and enforcement of the Discrimination Against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Act 2018.

“We will stand with you to make Nigeria a better place for all,’’ he said.

The committee chairman explained that oversight function was one of the mandates of the legislature as contained in the provisions of section four of the 1999 constitution.

He said the section empowers the legislature to ensure that Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDAs, of government strictly comply to the mandate of their respective organisation.

A member of the committee, Emeka Chinedu, representing Ahiiazu/ Ezinihitte Federal Constituency of Imo, said, with the growing population of PWDs, there is the need for adequate funding and institutional framework to cater for their needs.

Mr Chinedu therefore advocated for the establishment of a Disability Trust Fund.

According to him, the trust fund would help to cater for the socio-economic needs of the more than 35 million persons with disabilities across the country.

Earlier, the Executive Secretary, NCPWD, James Lalu, appealed to the committee to assist them canvass for more funding for disability projects spread across the 774 local government areas in Nigeria.

Mr Lalu alleged that successive governments had tactically neglected disability-related matters due to funding issues.

“I am excited to inform you that to add value to our course, President Bola Tinubu signed the African Protocol on Human rights and the rights of Persons with Disabilities into law in October, 2023″ he said.

The Executive Secretary appealed to stakeholders to help in addressing the hardship and other socio-economic crises affecting the disability community.

He also called on the public and private sector organisations to implement the five per cent employment quota for PWDs.