The Federal Government has made it mandatory that 5 per cent employment opportunity will be reserved for persons with disabilities (PWDs), across the 36 States of the country through the operationalisation of Federal Character.

This indication was given by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the International Summit of Persons with Disability on Thursday in Abuja.

“This makes it criminal for any Ministry, Extra Ministerial Department and Agencies of government to deny persons with disabilities the opportunity to work provided they have the requisite skills,” Osinbajo warned.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Osinbajo was represented at the event by Mr George Akume, the Minister of Special Duties.

According to the Vice President, the Federal Government is working assiduously to modify the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) in order to accommodate the needs of persons with disabilities (PWDs).

He said President Muhammadu Buhari demonstrated his undaunting passion and love for PWDs when he vowed to change the narrative by creating the office to cater for this unique class of Persons.

“The International Disability Summit provides the platform to bringing together Advocates, Comrades, support groups, Scientists, and experts in technology to brainstorm on the struggles, challenges and achievements recorded in the community of PWDs.

“However, the Federal Government is working assiduously to modify the National Health Insurance Scheme in order to accommodate the needs of PWDs.

“This will enable the Medical Rehabilitation Therapists (Registration) Board of Nigeria (MRTB), the National Orthopedics Hospital, and other health agencies that provide services key into the scheme.

“We cannot afford not to yield to the call for Assistive Technology where there are professionals in the field of physiotherapy, Osteopathy, Speech therapists, Chiropractic, Audiology, Prosthetics and so on.

“All over the world, technology is being employed to aid communication by persons with various forms of disabilities. The government has gone ahead to revise the National policy on disability to develop the roadmap on local production of Assistive devices,” Osinbajo said.

The Vice President explained that “our sports women and men at the recent Paralympics held in Korea did exceptionally well with several gold medals and other Awards in many categories, a feat that puts the Nation’s flag at an enviable state.”

According.to him, this has no doubt proven the strength that abounds in the disability community.Speaking, Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouq, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development says, her joy grows by the day as she saw the Commission being nurtured through the stages of growth to fulfilling its mandate.

“As the vision of President Buhari is being crystalized, over 31 million PWDs are beginning to have the visibility and the inclusivity that the community has long awaited.

“Today, hope is rekindled in the disability community about their identity and the protection of the rights of PWDs against any form of discrimination or abuse.

“May I also use this medium to congratulate the entire staff of the National Commission for PWDs (NCPWD) over the wonderful job you are doing despite the limited number in the staff strength.

“I want to assure you that my Ministry is working tirelessly with the Head of Service of the Federation to facilitate timely access to the waiver for employment into the Commission,” Farouq said.

Also speaking, Dr Hussaini Kangiwa, the Chairman of the Governing Board of National Commission for persons with Disabilities, appreciated President Buhari and Farouq for their passion and commitment to ensure that PWDs are being carried along in country.

“May I also use this opportunity to reassure everyone that the entire governing Council of the Commission is committed to making the administrative activities of the Commission run smoothly without hitches.

“We will see to the maximum success and growth of this unique agency,” he assured.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Summit attracted members of the National Assembly, International NGOs, and relevant stakeholders who delivered goodwill messages, pledging support to the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and NCPWD (NAN)

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