ABUJA (Women Affairs’ Report)- The Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Senator Aisha Jummai Alhassan, has advocated the establishment of National Rehabilitation Institute aimed at improving the lives of Persons with Disabilities.
The Minister who disclosed this when the Joint National Association for Persons With Disabilities (JONAPWD) and Advocacy for Women With Disabilities Initiatives (AWWDI) paid her a courtesy visit at the National centre for women Development in Abuja, said that plan is underway to establish an agency for people with Disabilities under the Ministry of women Affairs and Social Development.
She also said that in line with Ministry of Women Affairs’ mandate, persons with disabilities are included in the plan of the ministry for their care and development; pointing out that she was aware of the challenges that people with Disabilities go through whenever they want to access government offices. She added that she has directed that accessibility for persons with disabilities should be considered and put in the 2017 budget for the interest of persons with disability in order to show love and care for them.
Senator Alhassan further stressed that a National Disability Bill has gone far in the National Assembly and what is required is to revalidate it before it goes back to the president for assent.
She encouraged and advised persons with disabilities to take advantage of the General Enterprises and Empowerment Programme (GEEP) to access loans and improve their livelihoods. She also asked the women with disabilities to leverage on the National Women Empowerment Fund (NAWEF) by forming groups of 10 and above to access loans without any collateral as women do not have lands or houses. Adding that the loans will attract only 5% administrative charges and will be administered by the Bank of Industries.
Earlier, the National President Joint National Assembly of persons with Disabilities (JONAPWD), Ms Ekaete Judith Umoh thanked the present administration under the leadership of President Muhamadu Buhari and the Minister of Women Affairs for appointing a person with disability as his special assistant. Adding that the Joint National Assembly of Persons with Disabilities (JONAPWD) has a great role to play in providing complimentary support to the Federal Government as the only broadest and truly national disability focused on civil society organization in Nigeria.
In the same vein, the founder/CEO of Advocacy for Women with Disabilities Initiative (AWWDI), Mrs. Patience Ogolo Dickson, said that women with disabilities experience almost the same problems as women without disabilities but it is without doubts that women with disabilities experience more problems as a result of their impairments/disabilities.
Mrs. Ogolo further said that women with disability have experienced huge discrimination and marginalization, and also excluded from the national and local community’s activities.