The House of Representatives on Thursday passed through Second Reading of a bill that seeks to prohibit discrimination against persons living with disability (PLWD) across the country.
In his lead debate, the sponsor, Mr Babajimi Benson, explained that the proposed bill seeks to amend the Principal Act, the Prohibition Against Persons with Disability Act, 2018 which provides for measures to protect and ensure the inclusion of PLWD in Nigeria.
Mr Benson explained that the amendment seeks to address some salient defects noticed in the Principal Act by amending Sections 30 and 32 of the Principal Act and rearranging Sections 30-58 as Sections 30-59.
“The amendment will include insertion of a subsection 30(1) which provides for an increase in the retirement age and term of service from 65 to 70 years or 40 years of service, whichever comes first.
“The second amendment seeks to ensure that the Chairman of the National Commission for Persons Living with Disability is someone also living with a disability. The person must however possess the requisite qualifications for that position.”
According to the lawmaker, the proposed amendment was to further ensure that persons living with disability are fairly treated to ensure equity and justice.
He added that it is also to give them the opportunity to fully participate in the decision-making process of the Commission that oversees their affairs.
Benson observed that they also face social stigma and prejudice and obstacles to moving around their own communities and city spaces, which leads to poverty and dejection especially when they retire early.
Reporting by Ibrahim Shehu; Editing by Abdullahi Lamino