NOA Sensitizes Stakeholders on Disability Act, Decries Low Compliance

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The Director General of the National Orientation Agency (NOA), Mr Lanre Issa-Onilu, has decried the low level of compliance and implementation of the “National Disability Act 2018” across all sectors in Nigeria.

Issa-Onilu gave his expression at the stakeholders’ meeting on awareness campaign to “ending discrimination and non Inclusion of Persons With Disabilities (PWDs)” organised by NOA on Tuesday in Lokoja.

According to him, the campaign is aimed at enlightening all critical stakeholders on the need to play their respective roles in the implementation of the national disability Act 2018 in order to achieve disability inclusion across all sectors of the society.

Represented by Mrs Christy Okpalah, a Deputy Director at the Agency, Issa-Onilu emphasised the need for citizens especially the critical stakeholders to promote the implementation of the disability act.

He noted that NOA had in collaboration with the Centre for Citizens with Disabilities, carried out capacity building workshops for Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and the Private sector on the provisions of the Act and their specific roles in ensuring its full implementation.

“However, despite the various efforts in promoting the implementation of the disability act since it was signed into law, there is still a low level of compliance and implementation across all sectors.

“This has left persons with disabilities excluded from community events, unable to access buildings, health care facilities, transportation and face discrimination in many areas of their life.

“It is in this regard, that NOA is carrying out this stakeholder’s forum and showing its commitment to ensuring that Nigerians are sufficiently mobilised to embrace disability inclusion,” he said.

Issa-Onilu urged all MDAs, private sector and other key participants to take a careful look at the Disability Act, find out their respective roles and come up with deliberate implementation plan to meet disability needs in their respective policies, programmes.

He stressed that the activities as individual and collective commitment to the course remained very crucial.

The Guest speaker at the event, Barr. Williams Aliwo, said the purpose of the Disability Act 2018, was for the full integration and mainstreaming of PWDs into the socio-economic and political activities of the nation.

He urged the people to have positive change of attitudes towards the integration of people living with disabilities.

Aliwo emphasised that the responsibilities thrust upon people for the purpose of guaranteeing the protection of the PWDs, run from private to public institutions and concerns.

He commended NOA for organising the event, saying such sensitisation remain a sure way of reducing the effects of ignorance resulting from lack of education and willful neglect of the PWDs and their interests.

Aliwo opined that the people should be given the opportunity to own and keep copies of the latest laws and be continually guided to know their rights.

Earlier, the Ag. State Director, NOA, Kogi Directorate, Mr Patrick Edogbanya, urged States and Local governments, and various organisations to support the Federal Government to ensure that the objectives and mandate of the agancy were achieved.

Edogbanya commended all the stakeholders for gracing the occasion, assuring them of NOA’s commitment to intensifying campaign on ending discrimination and non inclusions of PWDs.

In their separate comments, the Chairman, Joint National Association of Persons With Disabilities (JONAPWD), Mr Solomon Yahaya; and the Board Chairman, Kogi State Office of Disability Affairs, Mr Ibrahim Arome, both commended NOA for the program.

“The issue of inclusions of PWDs affects everyone and it is a business of all. The inclusion of PWDs should be considered in building houses, offices, worship centres, employment and appointment opportunities,” Arome said.

Arome commended NOA for bringing them together to sensitise them on their responsibilities in the society.

The stakeholders at the occasion commended NOA putting the program together, and promised their commitment to continue to promote the interest of PWDs in the society.

Other stakeholders at the event include: CAN, JNI, KONGONET, NSCDC, FRSC, Media Practicers, Traditional Rulers, ICPC, among others.


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