Lai Mohammed: Inclusive social protection ‘key achievement of Buhari’s administration’

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Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said President Muhammadu Buhari has demonstrated uncommon passion for inclusive social protection through the creation of lasting structures
and institutions that will outlast his administration.

The Minister, who stated this in Abuja on Thursday at the 2021 FRCN
Annual Lecture, with the theme ‘The Imperative of Disability Inclusion
in National Transformation,’ said the President’s passion was
demonstrated in the creation of the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs,
Disaster Management and Social Development to cater for, among others,
the vulnerable in the society.

In addition, he said the Buhari Administration has also created the
National Commission for Persons with Disabilities (NCPWD), headed by
an Executive Secretary from the community of persons with
disabilities, in the person of Mr. James David Lalu, to formulate and
implement policies favourable to persons with disabilities.

“Another significant step came in January 2019 with the ratification
of the Discrimination Against Persons with
Disabilities (Prohibition) Act 2018, which has become a major plank
for ensuring inclusive social protection in the
country.

“It is instructive to note that in all the various social protection
programmes of the present administration, such as the Conditional Cash
Transfer, the Government Enterprising and Empowerment Programme
(GEEP), the N-power and the Home-Grown School Feeding programmes, to
mention just a few, special consideration was given to the plight of
people with disabilities,” Alhaji Mohammed said.

He said the Buhari Administration has recorded many firsts in the area
of disability inclusion by appointing persons with disabilities to his
government, including a Senior Special Assistant to the President on
Disability Matters (a Blind); Special Assistant to the President on
Disability (Person with Physical Disability); Special Assistant to the
President on Special Needs (a Blind); Six Members of the Governing
Council of the National Commission for Persons with Disabilities as
well as Executive Secretary of the National Commission for Persons
with Disability (a Deaf).

The Minister also listed the Administration’s achievements in the area
of disability inclusion as the accommodation of 100,000 beneficiaries
with disabilities in the Conditional cash transfer; Inclusion of
40,000 persons with disabilities in the Batch C, stream 1 of the
N-Power programme of the Federal Government; ongoing design and
construction of accessibility facilities in three Nigerian
Universities (Uthman Dan Fodio University, Sokoto; Ahmadu Bello
University, Zaria and the University of Ilorin)

Other achievements listed by the Minister are the ongoing development
of National Assistive Technology Scale-up Strategy/Roadmap, in
collaboration with Clinton Health Access Initiative; development of
minimum accessibility standard, a policy document that provides
detailed accessibility facility requirements for buildings, roads,
transportations; and the approval by the Inspector General of Police
for the establishment of disability services units in all Nigerian
Police formations in the country, in partnership with the National
Commission for Persons with Disability, to curb discrimination and
other ill treatment of persons with disabilities in Nigeria

He said the National Commission for Persons with Disabilities has
commenced the enrolment of Persons with Disabilities in a special
health insurance scheme specially designed to commence with 800 pilot
beneficiaries cutting across the federation, while the Federal
Mortgage Bank of Nigeria, in collaboration with the National
Commission for Persons with Disabilities, is currently developing a
National Accessible Housing Programme for Persons with Disability in
the FCT and the 36 states, with a view to solving the housing needs of
the disability community.

Mohammed commended the FRCN for sustaining its platforms of
public engagement beyond news and programming, describing the
corporation’s annual lecture series as an opportunity for all to key
into the various programmes of government to foster inclusion and
participatory governance.

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