NCPWD Partners NCAA On Accessibility Policy For Persons With Disabilities

ES NCPWD Dr James David Lalu with Ag DG NCAA Captain Chris Ona Najomo

The Management team of the National Commission for Persons with Disabilities led by the Executive Secretary, Dr. James David Lalu has paid a working visit to the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority in Abuja, today 30th May, 2024.

The meeting was to seek a working relationship with the establishment and to further strengthen the implementation of section 14 of the Discrimination against Persons with Disabilities prohibition Act (2018).

Contrariwise, Dr. James David Lalu seized the occasion to recount the unpleasant experiences that persons with disabilities have had in the past while on air travels within the country.

He said that many of the Airlines are culpable of various discriminatory acts towards persons with disabilities as the sad treatments have been quite embarrassing to the disability community.

“You can imagine the case of Rano Air, where the staff of the organization claimed that the Airline policy does not support persons with zero mobility and persons with reduced mobility to board without an Aid” he disclosed.

The ES further emphasised on the need to formulate a “Standard Operating Procedure (SOP)” that would chart a clear policy direction for the organization as well as Persons with Disabilities in the course of booking flight tickets.

The Commission helmsman equally informed that the Commission is working closely with relevant stakeholders on improving the capacity of Aviation staff.

He further disclosed that the Commission is ready to commence a pilot phase of disability desk officers who would attend to persons with disabilities who make use of airport facilities.

He, however, commended the regulatory body for the steps taken so far towards safeguarding the fundamental rights of persons with disabilities in the last couple of years.

In his response, the Acting Director General, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, Captain Chris Ona Najomo stated that the meeting was apt and timely.

According to him, NCAA is evolving into a more customer- oriented Agency which is capable of delivering a world class service to Nigerians in general.

He mentioned that the regulatory body is very aware of the recent sad incidences against persons with disabilities and is taking appropriate steps to put an end to such discriminatory acts.

“I must inform you all that it is a new dawn at the NCAA and those discriminatory actions are totally unacceptable” he asserted.

He added that the Commission’s section 14 of the Discrimination Act is similar to Article 19 of the NCAA law which borders on Aviation’s treatment of Persons with Disabilities.

He, therefore, urged PWDs to always specify the special needs column in the drop- down page when making applications on the ticket requests.

The high point of the meeting was the unanimous agreement of both parties to have a standing committee that would see to the review of the existing policy on the treatments of persons with disabilities to meet with international standards.

Mbanefo JohnMichael’s I
Head Press and Public Relations Unit, NCPWD