By Chibuike Nwabuko
Abuja (Sundiata Post) – Ahead of the 2024 deadline for the implementation of Disability Rights act, the National Orientation Agency (NOA) and the National Commission for Persons with Disabilities (NCPWD) have entered into a partnership to promote the provisions of the act to help citizens and institutions understand and comply with it, especially some of the aspects of it that has punitive consequences.
Director General of NOA, Dr.Garba Abari and his counterpart from NCPWD, James Lalu sealed the agreement after a meeting yesterday at the NOA headquarters in Abuja. Abari stressed the need for citizens to be aware of the rights of persons living with disabilities which will help in inclusion and acceptance in the society.
The Assistant Director, Press, Paul Odenyi disclosed this on Friday in a statement he signed and made available to Sundiata Post.
NOA, according to him will not relent in sensitizing Nigerian on the Disabilities prohibition act, 2018 through the development of strategic communication plans and programme to create the necessary awareness and sensitization for social inclusion of persons living with disabilities in the society.
Abari stated that with a large number of 35 million persons living with disabilities in the country, the Agency receives communication constantly from other government and non governmental institutions on issues concerning that segment of the society. “ we are working with an organisations ‘’Friends of Nigeria ‘’ that deals with Independent National Electoral commission (INEC) to reflect their decision in the electoral process and build continuous synergy to create awareness on harmful traditional and cultural practices that affect persons living with disabilities. We are going to leverages on the NOA ‘s foot prints and platforms at the grass levels to achieve that our gaol of creating the needed awareness.
Earlier, the PWD Executives secretary James Lalu said the commission was in the Agency to strengthen the relationship and leverages on the NOA’s platforms to create awareness and sensitization for social behavioural modification and attitudinal change towards person living with disabilities in the country.
He accused both government and private institutions of gross violation of the rights of PWDs saying the collaboration with NOA has become urgent in view of the deadline for full implementation of the provision of the act. He gave instances of PWDs being denied of access to education, health, dignity on account of their condition.
“The essence of the visit therefore, is to establish a robust relationship with the NOA in order to collaborate on areas to bring awareness to the people and institutions, thereby making life easier for the most vulnerable people in our society”. He added.
Sundiata Post recalls that the NCPWD was established in 2018 with a moratorium of five years for the full implementation of the punitive aspects of the law which guarantees PWDs fundamental rights to integration, health care, social, economic and civil protection.