U.S.-based coalition of people living with disabilities has called for urgent establishment of the National Commission for Persons Living with Disabilities.
The coalition, under the auspices of Equal Rights for Persons with Disabilities International, Inc. (ERPWDI), made the call in a letter to the National Assembly leadership in Abuja.
The letter was jointly signed by Chief Eric Ufom, President and Chief Executive Officer of ERPWDI, and Mrs Ngozi Ikebuaku, Executive Secretary of the organisation.
The coalition said that the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic had made urgent establishment of the commission imperative.
President Muhammadu Buhari had on Jan. 23, 2019, assented to Discrimination Against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Act, 2018.Section 31 of the Act provides for the setting up of the National Commission for Persons with Disabilities with Executive Secretary as the head.
The coalition urged the legislative arm to help to speed up establishment of the commission to cater for people living with disabilities in the face of COVID-19.
It said this was in accordance with the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and the Sustainable Development Goals.
The coalition added that the establishment of the commission would facilitate intervention by government in the affairs of Nigerians living with disabilities.
It said that setting up of the commission would not only help to address the challenges of people living with disabilities during the COVID-19 period, but also in the post-COVID-19 era.
The coalition includes Organisations of Persons with Disabilities (OPDs), ERPWDI, FESTAC-USA, Inc.; Kaysom Holding Inc. and Center for Advocacy and Citizens with Disabilities.