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Commission to sanction buildings not accessible for PWDs

National Commission for Persons with Disabilities wants owners of public buildings to comply with minimum building standards to ensure persons with disabilities have access to such facilities to avoid sanctions.

The Executive Secretary, of the Commission Mr. James Lalu made the call at a programme for the promotion of disability inclusion organized by Sight Saver in Abuja.

Mr. Lalu said there were provisions in the disability Act that spells stiffer penalties to owners of public buildings who fail to comply, and maintained that the commission would collaborate with relevant security agencies to sanction individuals or groups found wanting.

According to Lalu “Our commitment is to make sure that this accessibility would cover major cities in Nigeria which is why the National Commission for Persons with Disabilities at the moment has finished developing the accessibility minimum standard.

It is a policy document that provides a clear definition about this accessibility, the measurement, the dimension what it means to construct a ram and what is the actual dimension and the standard dimension for a ram in Nigeria, what and what accessibilities are needed in a very particular building, the road, cars, and everything are what the commission have already developed.”

In a remark, the Country Representative of Sight Saver Nigeria, Dr. Sunday Isiyaku said the programme would improve access to work, education, and healthcare to address the stigma and discrimination of Persons with Disabilities.

Dr. Isiyaku explained further “Three pieces of research by from five countries, including Nigeria, have revealed the often devastating impact of COVID-19 on people with disabilities and organisations of persons with disabilities. Five disability organisations were consulted in Nigeria. The research has also provided learning papers for future government and humanitarian responses and planning.”

Dr. Isiyaku said the meeting would enable stakeholders to take action for the betterment of Persons with Disabilities.

Reporting by Florence Adewale, editing by Daniel Adejo.