The National Orientation Agency (NOA), has pledged its support for Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) to give them a sense of belonging in the society.
Dr Garba Abari, the Director-General of NOA said this at a capacity building training on the “Roles of Stakeholders in the Implementation of the National Disability Act 2018’’ on Tuesday in Abuja.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the training was organised by NOA in collaboration with Centre for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD).
To this end, he said that plans were ongoing to restructure its building to enhance access in compliance with the provisions of the Discrimination Against Persons with Disability Prohibition Act 2018.
Abari said NOA was committed to complying with the provisions of the act, especially on its mandates of creating awareness on the law and ensuring that buildings were constructed to enable access for PWDs.
“Let me first start by apologising to everyone who found it difficult to access this particular hall which is at the second floor of our building.
“NOA is already working toward remodeling and restructuring its buildings to enhance easy access for PWDs and to serve as example for other Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs).
“The agency is committed to making this building disability friendly, we are already working toward reconstruction of the building.’’
Abari recalled that the National Disability Law was birthed and assented to by President Muhammadu Buhari as an intervention to the various unmet critical needs of PWDs in Nigeria and should be treated accordingly.
He urged other government establishments and owners of private structures to take advantage of the five years’ probation period left to comply with the provisions of the act on building accessibility for benefits of PWDs.
Dr Comfort Adeosun, the representative from the Office of the Civil Service of the Federation, said the office had released a circular to MDAs.
According to her, the circular is on the need to create an Occupational Safety and Health (OSH Unit) to address issues of PWDs.
Adeosun said the department would work with the disability desk of each MDAs to provide necessary information for PWDs, address issues of concerns and ensure compliance and creation of awareness of the National Disability Law.
“The circular was released few days back by the office of the civil service of the federation and the OSH unit is saddled with the responsibility of addressing disability related issues.
“It is to work closely with an already existing disability desk unit in each MDAs.
“So, staff of this MDAs are to begin to probe for this department or unit as the case may be in their agencies to ensure that matters of concerns for PWDs are prioritised in the plans, policies and strategies of each agency,’’ she said.
On employment for PWDs, she said that there was embargo on employment, adding that once it was lifted, priority would be given to them.
Mr David Anyaele, the Executive Director, Centre for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD), commended NOA for its commitment to remodel its buildings to enhance access for PWDs.
He also commended the agency for creating awareness on the disability act, its provisions and penalties.
Anyaele urged NOA to intensify efforts in delivering its mandates on awareness creation of the law across the country. (NAN)