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FG Approves 10 Per Of All Humanitarian, Social Safety Interventions For PLWDs In Nigeria

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Dr. Betta Edu (centre), celebrating with some of the PLWDs beneficiaries.

The Federal Government has approved a 10 percent inclusion for  Persons Living With Disabilities (PLWDs) in all Federal Government interventions and schemes of the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation.

The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Dr Betta Edu made this known during the launch of the Empowerment Programme for Persons with Disabilities at the Art and Culture Conference Hall in Abuja on Thursday.

Edu, in a press release by the Special Adviser Media & Publicity to the Minister, Rasheed Olanrewaju Zubair, said PLWDs will also benefit from all the programmes under the Ministry, including the End Hunger programme, Conditional Cash Transfer, N-power, Renewed Hope Shelters Programme, Geep Programmes as well as the CODE NIGERIA programme among others and their inclusion will be selected and implemented through the National Commission for Persons With Disabilities.

She commended the President for signing the African Charter on the Protection of the Rights of Persons Living with Disabilities and subsequent appointments of PLWDs into key positions in government, saying President Tinubu,  “does not see them as Persons With Disabilities but sees them as Persons with Special Abilities”.

While equally commending the National Assembly for ensuring that PLWDs have a say in the affairs of the country through their legislation, pointed out that “over the years, the voice of PLWDs could not be heard, they were silenced in all sectors and their brand was neglected but the government of President Tinubu has brought hope to them as the Renewed Hope Agenda is aimed at pulling 50 million Nigerians, including PLWDs, out of poverty within 42 months”.

Highpoint of the occasion, was the symbolic presentation of  Point of Sales (POS) machines and N100,000 operational capital to PLWDs by the Minister.

She also announced the sum of  N130,000 as scholarship support to PLWDs in tertiary institutions across Nigeria and made a presentation of N20 million annual grant to the Association of Persons Living with Disabilities in Nigeria 

Edu equally flagged off the federal government’s training of  PLWDs on business development and business registration with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) while creating a link with the Bank Of Industry (BOI) which will enable them access up to N1 billion low-interest loans from the BOI to enhance their businesses and equally contribute to job creation wherever they reside in the country. 

The Minister, however, warned against the misuse of the opportunities, saying the government will be strict in monitoring and evaluating all the empowerment, admonishing the beneficiaries to make good use of the Federal government empowerment to support their families and communities.

She said, “this Programme is not merely about assisting in empowering individuals to take charge of their lives, pursue their dreams and meaningfully contribute to our nation’s progress but it is in line with Mr. President’s vision of leaving no one behind in this great work of development. 

“Make good use of this gesture of President Tinubu’s Renewed Hope Agenda, embrace it, and be determined to make a difference in the society. We want to teach you how to fish, we are no more giving fish, we want to empower you to be useful to yourselves, the society and remain good ambassadors of this nation”.

Earlier the Executive Secretary, National Commission for Persons With Disabilities, Dr  James Lalu, commended President Tinubu for the appointment of Dr Edu, which he described as “the most impactful thing that has happened to the disabilities community in Nigeria”. 

He expressed delight that with Dr Edu as Minister for Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, the hope of PLWDs will be renewed due to her passion and empathy for them. 

“All that you are seeing today was made possible because we have a Minister who is pushful and is on the Commission’s neck to do things differently and better, thank you, my Honourable Minister,  we are beginning to see the result of your push”.

He promised full implementation of the Disability Act while working assiduously to protect and support PLWDs in the country.

On his part, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Disabilities,  Alhaji Abah Isah, stressed that the Renewed Hope For the Persons Living with Disabilities was guaranteed with Dr Edu as Minister given her zeal and dexterity to implement President Tinubu’s Agenda.

 He assured the PLWD community that the beginning is bright and the future is assured for all irrespective of their conditions. He advises the banks and all other organizations to remove any bottleneck that will exclude people living with disabilities from accessing support and empowerment.

Speaking on behalf of  the National Assembly, Chairman House of Representatives Committee on PLWDs, Hon Bashiru Dauda said inclusion and protection of the rights of those with disabilities is guaranteed under the leadership of the 10th National Assembly with its legislations and the inclusion of sign language in its proceedings. 

Dauda emphasized that discrimination against Persons with disabilities is highly prohibited in Nigeria and called on citizens to see them as part of society. He assured PLWDs that the  National Assembly would protect them under the established law in Nigeria.

On his part, the representatives of the Bank of Industry and Corporate Affairs Commission were on hand to register and open new businesses for PLWDs while admonishing the beneficiaries on how to improve their businesses.

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