The Disability Community and relevant stakeholders have advocated for five per cent allocation of employment and social protection interventions to persons with disability in Kaduna State.
They made the demand in a communiqué issued in Kaduna on Friday, at the end of a virtual stakeholder’s engagement with the theme, “Covid-19: Strengthening Social Inclusion and Protection for Persons with Disabilities”.
The meeting was organised, by the Disability Community and the Coalition of Associations for Leadership, Peace, Empowerment and Development (CALPED), in collaboration with other partners.
The communique was signed by Mr Suleiman Abdullazeez, Chairman, Disability Community, Kaduna State, Mr Rilwanu Mohammed, Chairman, Physically Challenged Association.
Other signatories were Risikat Mohammed, Executive Director, Women with Disability Self Reliance Foundation and Mr Yusuf Goje, Head, Leadership, Governance and Advocacy, CALPED.
The stakeholders expressed worries that the issues of disability community were still being addressed as charity by the society instead of a right.
They also pointed out that political, economic, and social discrimination against disability community had continued unabated in spite of the existing laws and policies put in place to discourage discrimination.
The stakeholders also observed that the disability community was not adequately carried along, especially in the planning and formulation of government policies.
According to them, people with disability are only consulted during town-hall meetings, which hinder them from taking ownership of government plans and programmes affecting them.
“Also, releases and cash-backing of budgetary allocation for line items concerning the disability community is grossly inadequate.”
They called on the state government and the state assembly to prioritise issues of persons with disability in the ongoing review of the 2020 budget and ensure timely releases of allocated funds.
They pledged to initiate an advocacy campaign to ensure adequate stakeholders’ engagement to accelerate the passage of the Kaduna State Disability Rights Bill into law.
“If enacted, we will strengthen multi-stakeholder synergy and collaboration to ensure full implementation and regular review of the law.
“We will equally collaborate with media organisations to introduce specialised programmes to specifically advocate for issues affecting the disability community.
“We have also resolved to initiate a network made up of disability community, civil society organisations, media and development partners, to advocate for quality service delivery to the disability community,” they said.
The stakeholder commended the state government for the support so far to persons with disability, particularly the ongoing efforts to mainstream the disability community into the governance process.
They also lauded the newly introduced scholarship scheme for the disability community and ongoing efforts to generate a database of all persons living with disability in the state.