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Prioritise persons with disabilities in new development plan, NHRC tells FG

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has called on the federal government to ensure that persons with disabilities (PWDs) are significantly captured in the new national development plan.

Recall that the federal executive council (FEC) had in November, approved the 2011-2025 National Development Plan (NDP) with an investment size of N384.7 trillion.

In a statement released on Friday by NHRC executive secretary to commemorate the 2021 international day of persons with disabilities, Tony Ojukwu said incorporating the interest of PWDs in the new plan will ensure that their rights are protected as in the UN convention on the rights of persons with disabilities.

He urged members of the public and private sectors to support the implementation of policies designed to improve equal participation of PWDs in the country.

“This year’s theme which focuses on ‘Leadership and participation of persons with disabilities toward an inclusive, accessible and sustainable post-COVID-19 world’ is geared towards promoting the importance of inclusion and accessibility in every sphere,” the statement reads.

“Full participation of this vulnerable group in societal affairs could be enhanced by creating an accessible environment and structures such as sign language interpreters, ramps, braille signage, lifts, digital accessibility tools for e-inclusion such as electronic brail, etc.

“The National Human Rights Commission uses this opportunity to call on the government to ensure that disability interests are mainstreamed into the newly approved National Development Plan 2021-2025 to ensure inclusiveness and that no one is left behind.”

The senate in May, 2021 had asked President Muhammadu Buhati to provide a “five-year post COVID-19 special intervention programme” for PWDs in the country.

However, the president in January 2019 assented to a bill protecting persons with disabilities, and in January 2021, inaugurated the National Commission for Persons with Disabilities (NCPD).

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