By Abiodun Azi
Lagos – An NGO, Project Enable, says it has launched the Inclusion Hub alongside the #FollowDisACT Campaign to push for full implementation of the Discrimination against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibitions) Act.
Its Executive Director, Mr Olusola Owonikoko, made this known on Thursday at the official launching of the Inclusion Hub in Surulere, Lagos.
According to him, we are inspired to strengthen the advocacy for Persons Living with Disabilities (PWDs).
Owonikoko said that the Bill was signed in January 2019 as a Federal legal framework that promotes the social inclusion of persons with disabilities across all sectors and levels in the society.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that President Muhammadu Buhari had on Jan. 23, signed into law the Discrimination Against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Act, 2018, following nine years of relentless advocacy by disability rights groups and activists.
The law prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability and imposes sanctions including fines and prison sentences on those who contravene it.
It also stipulates a five-year transitional period for modifying public buildings, structures, and automobiles to make them accessible and usable for people with disabilities.
The executive director said that the FollowDisACT project had been designed to monitor, track reports and drive the implementation of the newly assented Discrimination against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Bill, 2018.
Also Joe Okei-Odumakin, a Gender right activist, said the campaign started five years ago, adding that the Inclusion Hub was the first of its kind in Nigeria and by extension Africa.
Odumakin, who also doubles as a Board member of the NGO, said that the aim of the campaign was to help monitor the process of implementation of the Act.
She said that 80 per cent of those living with disabilities were found in countries such as Nigeria due to poverty and disease.
Also, Mr Akin Jimoh, a partner and the Executive Director, Development Communications (Devcoms), said that everyone needs to be involved in implementation of the Act.
Jimoh said that all need to be educated about the disability Act that Nigerians don’t care about persons PWDs except if the person is their family member.
He said each disability has its own challenges, noting that it is time Nigerians change their orientation and perspective about PWDs.
An ambassador of the NGO, Dolapo Agbede, who spoke on behalf of PWLDs, said that everybody was involved in the project.