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NCPWD urges government, private organisations to consider employment of PWDs

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NCPWD urges government, private organisations to consider employment of PWDs

The National Commission for Persons with Disabilities (NCPWD), has urged government organisations and corporate bodies to consider the employment of Persons With Disabilities (PWDs) in their area of choice.

The Executive Secretary of the NCPWD, Mr James Lalu, made the plea at the Southwest Zonal Town Hall of the National Technical Working Group on Access to Employment for PWDs, held in Lagos.

Lalu said the programme was put together to create awareness and catch the attention of relevant government agencies and employers of labour to allocate five per cent of their workforce to PWDs.

“Section 28 and 29 of the law against PWDs Prohibition Act 2019 talked about access to Employment for persons with disability as a matter of right.

” What we use to do before this law came into existence is to lobby and plead for compassionate consideration for PWDs to be employed in government offices and the private sector.

“The national disability law had made a lot of right and dignity for persons with disabilities in the country.

“But, today we are asking for the enforcement of the relevant sections of the discrimination Act to create awareness by starting to look into the possibility of having certain percentage of their workforce as PWDs”, Lalu said.

He added that the sensitisation exercise, which started in the South-East zone, will be replicated across all the zones in the country.

The Executive Secretary also commended President Muhammadu Buhari for uplifting the right of PWDs in the country, stressing, “since the amalgamation of Nigeria in 1914, no President has ever been sensitive to the plight of PWDs in this country.

“He assented to the disability law, created a national disability commission and provide political opportunities and appointment for PWDs.”

One of the speakers at the event, Mr Adereti Adegbite, a lawyer, tasked PWDs to get acquainted with the national disability law, so as to know their rights.

“As I speak, some of you seated here don’t know your rights and there is an existing law that protects your rights as PWDs in the country.

“Before now, there was no law in place protecting PWDs, but immediately the Prohibition and discrimination against PWDs in the provision act of 2018 became law, it brought an end to discrimination in the work place,” he said.

Adegbite, a former National Welfare Secretary of the Nigeria Bar Association, however, called for more stringent penalties to be meted out to organisations or companies that violated the right.

“It’s a good thing that the law already exists, but what we are saying is that the law should be more stringent.

“With the present law, any big organisation can afford to violate the law because it is just a penalty of N500,000, for an individual it is a N250,000 penalty, which can easily be paid, unlike what is obtainable in advanced climes.

“So, the law should be reviewed to deter companies and individuals from violating it,” he said.

Mr Rotimi Adeniyi, Chairman of the National Association of PWDs, Lagos State Chapter, thanked the commission for organising the programme, noting that it would be of great benefit to PWDs.

“This programme is coming at the right time because we all know what we stand to gain if PWDs are employed. It will avail those with unique talents to contribute their quota to the development and progress of Nigeria

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