Persons With disabilities (PWDs), want the incoming administration to ensure 10 per cent of ministerial and Special Advisers, SAs, appointments to them to form a government of national unity and inclusion..
Founder of TAF Africa, Mr Jake Epelle made the appeal at a strategic stakeholders’ roundtable in Abuja, on ‘Able To Serve’ Campaign’ with the theme ‘Disability Inclusion in the Appointment of Cabinet Members: A Call for Inclusive Governance’.
Mr Epelle submitted that there is nothing wrong for Tinubu to appoint PWDs into his cabinet, because they have a major stake in the development of Nigeria as far as they are equal citizens as their physically able-bodied brothers and sisters including qualifications, experience, exposure and expertise.
He explained that the strategic roundtable target awareness creation about the importance of PWDs’ appointment into cabinets federal, State and local governments, to utilize the untapped potential, in PWDs to impact positively in the development of the country.
“This is why we are calling on the incoming administration to appoint PWDs into his cabinet, because it is the way forward, if we must promote inclusion in Nigeria”.
“We need affirmative action policies that promote the employment of PWDs in both the public and private sectors, as well as incentives to encourage employers to hire PWDs.”.
“Doing this alone will make all the states, local governments, MDAs and private sector to do same and 15% of out hitherto lost GDP will be reclaimed” he stated.
Contributing, Chief Responsibility Officer of CARE Nigeria Dr Chike Okogwu, agreed that Persons with disabilities have the capacity and credibility to lead public offices and contribute to national growth and development if given the opportunity.
Representative of the KUKAH Center Attah Barkindo, said according to the 2019 Disability Act, at least 5 percent of employment opportunities are meant to be reserved for persons with disabilities.
“However, what we have seen is a far cry from what should be attainable going to by 2019 Disability Act.” He added.
Reporting by Julian Osamoto