The National Commission for Persons with Disabilities (NCPWD) has called on organisations across the country to ensure compliance to accessibility law and regulations to make provisions for Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) to access their buildings.
The Executive Secretary of the Commission, Mr James Lalu, made the call during a ‘Disability Walk’ on Tuesday in Abuja.
According to Lalu, President Bola Tinubu has already signed the African Union Protocol on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
He added that the Discrimination Against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Act, 2018 is still in effect.
“It show that the president is committed. And the Federal Government is making adequate budgetary allocation to meet up with the enforcement of the Act.
“This is to make sure that public buildings truly comply with the law. The Accessibility Department of the NCPWD is always available to provide technical support and assistance to every public building owner.
“We remain committed to an accessible environment for PWDs in Nigeria, including health sector, public sector and government buildings. The enforcement of the law will commence on Jan. 16, 2024.
“We are calling on the international community in Nigeria, all Embassies in Nigeria, Development Partners and other organisations to comply with the provisions of the law.
“This is what Nigeria wants; and this is what Nigeria is going to enforce and therefore, let everybody respect what Nigeria truly stands for,” Lalu said.
The NCPWD boss commended the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation for her commitment to provide the necessary back up support to the Commission in the enforcement of the law.
He further explained that the provision of the law provides for punishment, adding that the National Accessibility Regulation is also there to provide prescribed punished/fee/penalty.
He stressed that any public building that does not provide accessibility for PWDs would be sealed and it would only be unsealed if payment of fine is made by the organisation.
“A public building is defined as any building that is supposed to be accessible to citizens of the Federal Republic of Nigeria with a maximum person of 10 per day.
“Public building is not just a government office, but if you have a shop or supermarket that not less than 10 person can come into everyday, or an estate, it is supposed to be accessible to PWDs.
“We are also calling on governments to enforce the provision of this law that will take off on Jan. 16, 2024,” Lalu said. (NAN)