Commission Wants Employers To Comply With Minimum Employment Space, Easy Access For Persons With Disability
The National Commission for Persons With Disability (NCPWD) has called on public and private employers in Nigeria to comply with the five per cent minimum for persons with disability as stipulated in.the establishment act .
NCPWD’s Executive Secretary, Mr David Lalu, said this at a town hall meeting of the disability communities in the five South-East states in Awka on Wednesday.
Lalu said employers who did not fill existing employment spaces with five per cent of persons with disability would be identified and published as those discriminatory policies by next year
He said employment of physically disabled persons should not be seen as charity but as a right because members of the community were smart, intelligent and capable of attaining any height in the society on merit.
He said no member of the community should be discriminated against on the basis of physical disability and urged them to aspire to any office they qualified for as the commission would support them.
The executive secretary said that every work place still had until January 2024 to conform to standard access requirements into offices and public buildings to enable physically challenged persons have unfettered access.
He said any public building that did not meet the requirement as stipulated in The Discrimination against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Act would be declared unfit and sealed by the commission.
He however, commended Gov. Willie Obiano for being a PWD friendly governor who not only domesticated the Act but also ensured that the provisions were being complied with.
Lalu said southeast region had not done impressively in carrying physically challenged persons along and urged other governors to emulate Obiano.
Mr Harry Udu, Head of Service in Anambra said the government had met and surpassed the minimum threshold of employment of the physically disabled in its civil and public service.
He also said that the access requirement was now a policy in the ministry of housing that disabled persons must have equal access to every part of the building like every other person.
He said there were no fewer than three permanent secretaries and a good number of directors promoted not on tokenism but on qualification and merit.
He described persons with disability as specially abled people who deserved fair space to compete in the society.
On his part, Mr Ugochukwu Okeke, Chairman of the Joint National Association of Persons With Disability (JONAPID), Anambra chapter said no fewer than 250 of its members were employed by the state government.
Okeke said members of JONAPID were fully represented in Obiano’s administration and they were grateful to the governor for setting the standard on how to treat persons with disability in the region.
Prof. Williams Obiozor, Director Center for Disability and Special Needs Research, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka said the Centre had developed innovations on how to opitimise the potentials of the disability community.
Obiozor, who described the PWD as special people said the centre which was about two years old had helped disabled persons to secure admission and employment according to their capability.
The Don said the Centre would continue to support the disability community in Nigeria.
“We are coming up with research findings and also providing support for staff and students of the university and beyond,” he said.
He however, called for speedy action in the remodelling of buildings and offices to provide minimum access and comfort for the disabled.
The town hall meeting was organised in conjunction with Rule of Law and Anti Corruption (RoLaC) and had as its theme: “Employment: A Necessity Ford Better Live for Persons With Disability”