Center wants President Buhari to sign Disability Bill Act into law

Muhammadu Buhari

The Centre for Citizens with Disabilities, CCD,  has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to sign the Disability Bill Act into law to reduce the burden faced by People With Disabilities (PWDs) in the country.

The Centre’s Executive Director, Mr David Anyaele, made the appeal in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Lagos.

“We are calling on president Buhari to fulfill his promise by signing the Disability Bill into law.

“We strongly believe that the president must recognise that the cost of living with disabilities is enormous.

“The hostile environment is excruciating; it is only signing the Act into law that will enable stakeholders to begin to create inclusive society and reduce the burden.

“This is what we want to achieve with the bill,” he said.

Earlier, in a statement, the director said that the National Assembly had transmitted the National Disability Bill to the president for assent.

According to him, the bill was transmitted on Dec. 18 by the clerk of the National Assembly in line with the centre’s demand for the urgent transmission of the bill to the president.

He said that this was the fourth time the disability bill would be transmitted to the president for assent since 1999 by the National Assembly.

“Over 25 million men and women with disabilities and their families are appealing to Nigerians for support to secure the president’s assent.

“As the presidential candidate of APC, the president promised on March 21, 2015, at Lafia, Nasarawa State, to end all forms of discrimination against PWDs in Nigeria if elected as the President through passage of the disability bill.

“The time for the President to fulfill his promise is now; already, he has appointed two senior special assistants and special assistant on disability matters.”

NAN reports that some of the salient features of the revised bill include criminalisation of any form of discrimination against PWDs and ensuring adequate publicity, promotion of public awareness on the rights of PWDs.

Others include making provision for accessibility to public buildings and related facilities; provision for a five-year period within which all public buildings and structures are to be adaptable for use by PWDs.

Also, accessibility to transportation including road, sea ports, railways and air and related facilities; protecting the liberty of PWDs and criminalising their use in alms begging.