By Collins Yakubu-Hammer

The Federal Government launched the Nigeria Partnership for Disability-Inclusive Development (NIPDID), stating that 100million Nigerians will be brought out of poverty.

Speaking during the launch in Abuja on Monday, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajiya Sadiya  Farouq, said that this was in line with the Federal Government’s commitment to further solidify efforts and activities to enhance the lives of Persons with Disabilities, PWDs in the country.

Farouq was represented by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Dr Nasir Sani-Gwarzo.

The minister acknowledged and appreciated the support from World Bank, Sightsaver, Save the children, Leprosy Mission, Commonwealth Office in the British High Commission in Nigeria and many others.

She said the support of the partners to the passage of the Discrimination against PWDs Prohibition Act and the subsequent establishment of the National Commission for Persons with Disabilities (NCPWD) were sincerely noted and appreciated.

“However, it is discouraging that some local and international organisations providing interventions on disability-inclusive development in Nigeria do so without coordination or recognition of the role of NCPWD and the ministry.

“I want to bring to your esteem attention that the Commission will continue to play roles that are vital in the coordination of all intervention including regulatory functions as it concerns disability in the country.

“In our part, we will continue to honour and respect all our commitment to international treaties and signing the African Protocol on Disabilities before the end of this year.

“We also request all development partners to dedicate ten per cent affirmation for PWDs in their programmes and projects in the country,” she said.

In his remsrks, the Executive Secretary of NCPWD,  Mr James Lalu said the formation of the Nigeria Partnership for Disability-Inclusive Development is a beautiful initiative.

“This will bring us together to work as one team to develop and implement programmes and projects. It will also provide us with a common  platform to exchange ideas, plans and approaches to improve the lives of PWDs.

“On behalf of over 35.5 million Nigerians with disabilities, I want to appreciate our partners who have been in Nigeria, working for many years to support the disability community,” Lalu said.

Similarly, the Country Director, World Bank Nigeria, Mr Shubham Chaudhuri and the Head of Governance and Stability at the British High Commission in Nigeria, Ms Elizabeth Drew restated their commitments to the partnership and support for disability community in Nigeria.

In the same vein, the Country Advocacy Coordinator of Sightsavers, Mrs Esther Bature said that, after the passage of the Discrimination against PWDs Prohibition Act and establishment of NCPWD, there was increased in awareness.

“However, this group being inaugurated today would help the commission to coordinate and also help partners to complement each other and minimise duplication of works.

“We are happy that NCPWD has a five year development plan. It will also help partners to key into it. Sightsaver is proud to be part of this initiative and will continue to support the commission,” Bature said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the event attracted officials from the World Bank, British High Commission in Nigeria, Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Sightsavers, Leprosy Mission, Save the Children, National Society of the Blind  and many other relevant stakeholders. (NAN)

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