The National Commission for Persons with Disability has said over 100,000 People Living With Disabilities are to be awarded scholarships in 2022, to study within and outside the country.
The Executive Secretary of the Commission, James Lalu, stated this when Mr Chike Okogwu, a physically challenged activist and anchor of ‘The Specials TV Show’ paid him a courtesy visit in Abuja, the News Agency of Nigeria reports.
Lalu said that in order to empower the people, the first thing to do is to give them education, and when the people are properly educated, they will be empowered and knowledgeable about their responsibilities and challenges.
He said the NCPWD in partnership with the Universal Basic Education Commission to see how to make education attractive to PWDs.
“We have an estimated six million children with disability today in Nigeria that are out of school. Adoption of the school environment is one of the important areas.
“Also, provision of assistive technology and devices for PWDs to be able to go to school is important, this is because some PWDs in rural areas cannot go to school due to lack of wheelchairs or mobility.
”The Commission is bracing up to provide scholarships for a minimum of 100,000 PWDs in 2022. This is by virtue of our commitment to the 2022 budget, and we are committed to providing the scholarships.
“It will cut across all states of the federation. We will provide an open ground for the selection of the persons based on merit and we will make sure they get these scholarships,” Lalu said.
He further explained that it would be on a continuous basis, as the Commission wants to see more PWDs occupy most of the tertiary institutions to study.
Lalu regretted that PWDs were being discriminated against in most healthcare centres across the country in contravention of provisions in the Disability Act.
“This is because the Act makes provision for free healthcare services for children with mental disability and other types of disabilities.
”However, we are partnering with health management organisations in the country to provide Health Insurance Schemes for thousands of PWDs. We are going to inaugurate the scheme later this year and start properly in 2022.
“PWDs are also being carried along in areas of agriculture, Conditional Cash Transfer and N-Power. Over 50,000 PWDs are benefiting from CCT and over 40, 000 are enrolled in N-Power.
” I am very positive that, the era of discrimination against PWDs is over, as the NCPWD is ever ready to ensure that their livelihoods and prosperity is enhanced, without compromise,” Lalu said.