THE Director General of the Michael Imoudu National Institute for Labour Studies (MINILS), Ilorin, Comrade Issa Aremu, has stated that the establishment of the National Commission on Disability Affairs (NCDA) by President Muhammadu Buhari would foster inclusion of millions of people living with disabilities in the process of national development.
Comrade Aremu stated this while playing host to the officials of Kwara State Joint National Association of Persons Living With Disabilities (KWJONAPWD) at the Institute.
He also commended President Buhari for signing into law in 2018 the Discrimination Against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Act which prohibits discrimination against people living with disabilities and established a National Commission for Persons with Disabilities, responsible for ensuring that people with disabilities have access to housing, education, and healthcare.
He described the Disabilities law as the “most socially responsible law in the current democratic dispensation.” He added that MINILS would partner with Kwara State Joint National Association of Persons Living With Disabilities to implement the new law through mass education of organised labour and civil society on its provisions.
He also disclosed that MINILS is set to mark 2021 International Day of International Day of Persons with Disabilities on December 3 which is an International Observance Day by the United Nations since 1992 to promote understanding of disability issues and mobilise support for the dignity, rights and wellbeing of persons with disabilities.
In his address, Comrade Bashir Yusuf, Chairman Joint National Association of Persons With Disabilities hailed President Buhari for the establishment of National Commission on Disabilities Affairs to be manned by people with disabilities as well as giving 10% of the Federal Government Special Public Work in the State and also the 10% allotted to People Living with Disabilities of N-Power applicants throughout the federation.
Comrade Bashir, while appreciating Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRasaq of Kwara State for his laudable programmes in repositioning the state and the wellbeing of Kwarans with disabilities, called for the full implementation of the disability law with respect to the establishment of a Disability Affairs Office to cater for persons with disabilities.
The officials of the association praised President Buhari for appointing Comrade Aremu as the Director General of MINILS, describing him (Aremu) as someone who “possesses all the qualities of a humane leader, deep faith, complete confidence, empathy and broad vision which recognises the rights of people living with disabilities.
As at 2020, there are reportedly over 27 million Nigerians living with some forms of disability that include visual, hearing, physical, intellectual and communication impairments.