FG to close down organisations violating accessibility laws for PWDs

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The federal government has announced plans to close public facilities that do not meet the minimum accessibility standards for people with disabilities (PWDs) beginning January 17.

Dr James Lalu, Executive Secretary of the National Commission for Persons with Disabilities (NCPWD), announced this on Thursday during a press conference in Abuja.

According to the Nigerian News Agency (NAN), the news conference was held as part of the sixteenth day of action to commemorate the 2023 International Day of Persons with Disabilities (PWDs).

Lalu stated that the commission will go into action immediately following the expiration of the federal government’s five-year deadline, which is set to expire on January 16, 2024.

“As stated in the commission’s establishment laws, this commission was established with full responsibility for the enforcement of its laws.”

“Five years were given to organizations to comply with accessibility laws, and the five years will now expire on January 16, next year, ushering us from the era of advocacy to the era of enforcement.”

“By January we would go out in full force to make sure that the provisions of the law is properly enforced” he told reporters.

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He stated that the commission would enlist all necessary stakeholders to form a special taskforce to ensure the law’s implementation.

‘”We would begin meeting with our own partners to form a taskforce immediately before Christmas, and everything would be in place by the end of the year.”

“As soon as we arrive early next year, the taskforce will spring into action, and the enforcement of accessibility laws will begin on January 17 at 12 a.m.”

“The commission’s taskforce will move out in full force and will start visiting key offices for physical assessment of facilities in the key offices” added the official.

The NCPWD Boss also stated that the commission would guarantee that organizations not only meet their accessibility regulations, but also provide 5% employment chances to people with disabilities.

“Our evaluation may include not only the physical facilities, but also the composition of the staff in these institutions.”

“We want to know how many people they have as disabled people, the total number of staffing decisions, and then the maintenance of the five people in these institutions,” he said.

According to Dr Betta Edu, Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, the commission has the full support of President Bola Tinubu’s administration in the implementation of their accessibility laws.

Edu affirmed the Executive Secretary of her commitment to ensuring that accessibility laws be enforced.

According to her, all Nigerians share responsibility for the effective implementation and enforcement of relevant Disability legislation.

As a result, she assured all stakeholders that the commission would be supported in its efforts to defend its members’ rights and privileges.

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