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Senate advocates 5-year post COVID-19 prog for disabled



Senate has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to provide a five-year post COVID-19  special intervention programme for persons with disability in the country.
The upper legislative chamber also
urged all Ministries, Department, and Agencies, MDAs to provide at least 10 per cent of their projects and programmes for the disabilities through the National Commission for Persons with Disabilities, NCPD
These resolutions followed the adoption of a motion on ” Urgent need to provide Special Presidential Interventions for the persons living with disability in Nigeria” by Senator Yusuf Abubakar Yusuf (APC Taraba Central) and co-sponsored by 11 other lawmakers.
Leading debate on the motion, Yusuf commended Buhari for signing the descrimination against persons with disability Act 2018 and establishment of National Commission for Persons with Disability.
He, however, said  it was a concern that the World Health Organisation, WHO, had in 2018 indicated that about 29 million of Nigerian population were people with disability.
Yusuf said the effects of COVID-19 and other issues on people with disability have further exposed the underline inequalities and discriminatory practice faced by people with disability in the country, noted that they have contributed to increased poverty in the country.
He expressed concern that people with disability were yet to feel the impact of various Interventions such as N- Power, Presidential Youth Empowerment Scheme,Conditional Cash Transfer to reduce poverty and cushion effect of COVID-19.
This, he said was caused by the unfriendly conditions attached to the processes of accessing the various  interventions.
Contributing, Senators Ali Ndume (APC Borno South) and Chukwuka Utazi (PDP Enugu North) urged senators to support the motion given the challenges of  persons with  disability especially on their inability to receive  supports on funding.
Senate thereafter in its resolution listed the areas for the interventions to include mass distribution of assistive wheelchairs,prosthesis and orthotics,hearing aids among others to enhance access to educational  and independent living.
It further urged the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN through Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing system for Agricultural Lending, NIRSAL, Micro Finance Bank to provide Special loan facilities for the disabled through NCPD.
Senate also urged security agencies to retain and convert affected personnels  to less demanding task, who became disabled in the course of discharging their official assignment.
In his remarks, the Senate President, Dr. Ahmad Lawan, said the motion would bring to bear the importance of ensuring that those who are challenge were  given special attention.

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