PWDs Seek Fair Share of N5bn Palliative for States and LGs

The National Association of Persons with Physical Disabilities (NAPWPD) has voiced their request for a 5% portion of the N5 billion palliative that has been sanctioned by the Federal Government for distribution among states and local government councils.

Arabella reported, the Federal Government has given the green light for the allocation of N5 billion to states, local government councils, and the Federal Capital Territory as part of a palliative effort.

In response, Mr. Rilwan Mohammed, the National President of NAPWPD, issued a statement on Saturday in Kaduna.

He appealed for 5% of the fund to be designated for Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) across the various states.

Mohammed clarified that this demand aligns with the stipulations of the Discrimination Against Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) Prohibition Act.

Additionally, he highlighted that Section 25 of the Disability Law emphasizes that PWDs should be prioritized and protected during times of risk or humanitarian crises.

He expressed dissatisfaction that PWDs were not consulted in the decision to allocate funds to states and local government councils.

“The disability law outlines a distribution plan that includes PWDs, who are typically overlooked when grouped together with others during relief allocations. We are advocating for a 5% allocation to PWDs in accordance with the law’s provisions,” he stated.

Mohammed underscored the importance of a transparent framework to ensure that marginalized groups like PWDs are included in the utilization of the N5 billion palliative.

He noted that the association has been deeply troubled by the plight of its members due to the fuel subsidy removal by the administration led by President Bola Tinubu.

“The removal’s impact has been severe on PWDs, who are predominantly impoverished and vulnerable.

The inability to afford adequate food, healthcare, and essential items has been aggravated by the recent situation in the country,” he expressed.

He further lamented the ripple effects of the subsidy removal on the cost of goods and services, particularly affecting the economically disadvantaged, including PWDs.

Mohammed called on federal, state, and local governments to address the challenges in public transportation and consider the specific needs of PWDs.

To ensure accessibility for PWDs in public transport, he suggested that buses and other vehicles should be equipped with adjustable ramps and handrails for wheelchair users.

In addition, vehicles should incorporate signage and electronic displays with audio announcements for the visually and hearing impaired, as mandated by the disability law.

“Our demands are not mere requests for charity, but they are in line with legal provisions,” he concluded.

It is worth recalling that Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno had announced the approval of these funds following the National Economic Council meeting on August 17 in Abuja.

Zulum had clarified that the distribution would consist of 52% in grants and 48% as loans, to be repaid to the Central Bank of Nigeria within 20 months by the states and local councils.

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