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Commission seeks 5% employment slots for PwDs

NASARAWA- The National Commission for Persons With Disabilities (NCPWD) has called for the enforcement of five per cent employment opportunities for Persons with Disabilities (PwDs) as enshrined in the Nigerian constitution.

Mr James Lalu, Executive Secretary of the NCPWD, made the call on Tuesday in Keffi Local Government Areas  of Nasarawa state at a town hall organised for North Central Zone.

Lalu said the town hall was to sensitise stakeholders on the need to create awareness on the importance of job opportunities for PwDs.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the theme of the Town hall meeting is “Employment: A necessity for a better life for persons with disability in Nigeria”.

Lalu represented by the Director, Compliance and Enforcement of the commission Mr Ikem Uchegbulam, said it was important for stakeholders to be informed of the provisions of the constitution as it concerned the rights of PwDs

“Our mandate is also to ensure the enforcement of the constitutional provisions which recognises the fact that people with disability have right to decent employment and the right to decide that they want to work.

“Then section 29 goes ahead to say five per cent of the entire workforce of public organisations should be reserved for persons with disability.

“So, the essence of this town hall meeting is to track, monitor and ensure that sections of the Act is complied with by public organisations,” he said.

Lalu said in spite of the constitutional obligation of five per cent for PwDs during employment, some organisations do not comply with the law.

He said that they always find a way to deny Persons with Disabilities the opportunity to be employed.

“How they do so is when they say they are doing replacement, they don’t advertised vacancy but an internal arrangement.

”So, they are not obligated to adhere to the five per cent law” he said.

Lalu expressed determination to strengthen advocacy towards ensuring that Persons with Disabilities are adequately represented in employment in both public and private sector.

“We are not relenting in our efforts to ensure five per cent employment for our members,” he said.

Earlier, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Mr Simon Lalong represented by Mr Ejeh Dennis, Deputy Director of Inspectorate Department in the ministry said the theme of the meeting was apt.

Lalong said giving the focus of President Bola Tinubu’s administration committment to ensuring social and economic inclusive of PwDs especially in employment opportunities.

“I am optimistic that the outcome of this town hall meeting will further create more opportunities and access to employment for persons with disabilities in our dear country.

” I wish to reiterate that my ministry will continue to work with the commission to ensure decent work and productive employment for PwDs as well as the protection of their rights” Lalong said.

Also speaking, Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Betta Edu, said her Ministry would continue to provide the necessary support to the commission towards achieving its mandate.

Edu, represented by Mr Sunday Hezekiah, Deputy Director in the ministry said the event was timely and would go a long way in sensitising stakeholders on the rights of people with disability.

She called on organisations of labour to be mindful of the sections of the constitution which provides for the rights of persons with disability, including rights to employment.

While fielding questions from journalists shortly after the event, the Secretary of Federal characters Commission (FCC) Mr Bello Tukur, assured stakeholders of the commission prioritise for PwDs.

Tukur said that FCC always prioritied the distribution of Federal Government ‘s employment opportunities as regards PwDs.

” We will continue to prioritise the five per cent employment quota for persons with disabilities as enshrined in the constitution. (NAN)