By Collins Yakubu-Hammer

The National Commission for Persons with Disabilities (NCPWD) says it plans to partner with the National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC) toward providing accessibility for Persons With Disabilities (PWDs) in Nigeria.

James Lalu, Executive Secretary, NCPWD, said this when he paid a courtesy visit to the Director-General of NADDC, Jelani Aliu.

This is contained in a statement by the Head of Media and Publicity of NCPWD, Mr JohnMichaels Mbanefo on Wednesday in Abuja.

Lalu said that NADDC has been identified as one of the ideal partners in the efforts to provide accessibility to PWDs.

“And that is why we are willing to share the over 200 page document on accessibility minimum standard developed by the commission with major stakeholders like your organisation for onward review and adoption before it goes to the press.

“The NCPWD will need the support and the expertise of NADDC to help in reviewing the accessibility minimum standard document in the areas of transportation for PWDs.

“Buses and other vehicles used for transportation in Nigeria are not easily accessed by PWDs, especially persons on wheelchairs.

“Most of the women on wheelchair feel abused when strange men take advantage of their situations to touch them inappropriately in the guise of helping them to fit into vehicles,” Lalu said.

He called for a more accessible design for transportation vehicles to take care of the PWDs needs.

Lalu also suggested that the NCPWD should have focal personnel from the NADDC to be working with its accessibility department for a more profitable partnership.

Responding, Aliu stated that the council was happy with the friendship from the commission and hoped that such partnership would add value to Nigerians and PWDs.

The NADDC boss said that the council would be transparent in reviewing the accessibility document and make its inputs for a more robust Accessibility Standard for PWDs.

Aliu stated that the council would try to collaborate with necessary stakeholders in order to provide suitable automatic wheelchairs and vehicles that would enhance accessibility for PWDs and for their transportation needs. (NAN)

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