Nigeria’s Senate assures speedy passage of Disability Bill

The National Assembly (NASS) has expressed its commitment to speedy passage of the Nigeria Disability Right Bill that would protect the rights of persons with disabilities.

Sen. John Enoh (PDP-Cross Rivers) gave the assurance while addressing women with disabilities on Wednesday in Abuja.

The legislator who represented Senate President, Bukola Saraki, received the team of women with disabilities and a letter from Cedar Seed Foundation, assured the populace of a fast track in passage of the Disability Bill.

“I assure you on behalf of the Nigerian Senate that we will do everything possible with regard to every matter that has to do with protection and promote the interest of all those who are disabled whether women or men.

“We are aware that there is ability in disability so the Senate will not shy away from every act of legislation geared to support the welfare and general well-being of this group of persons in the society.

“We will do everything possible in order to be able to create a better environment for all disabled persons in the society and clear all sort of discrimination that may be affecting them.

“We assure you that we will continue to support everything that needed to be done to create a better society for persons with disabilities,’’ he said.

Persons with disabilities led by Cedar Seed Foundation, a non-profit which advocates for the rights of persons with disabilities, organised a road walk to commemorate the 2017 International Women’s Day.

The day is marked on March 8 annually and this year’s theme is “Be bold for change’’.

It was also aimed at pressing home their demands with regard to quick passage of the Disability Bill as well as non-inclusion of persons with disabilities in government policies.

Speaking earlier, Ms. Lois Auta, Founder of the Cedar Seed Foundation, said the objective of the walk included the creation of awareness and advocacy for speedy passage of the Nigerian Disability Rights Bill.

Auta, who noted that the bill was last passed by the Senate in July 2016, added that till date, nothing was heard about it.

The polio survivor and disability rights crusader further disclosed that the passage of the bill would guarantee the protection of right of persons with disabilities in all spheres of life and address the challenges currently faced by this group of persons in the society.

Auta identified some of their challenges to include lack of interpreters, non-accessibility of public buildings and discrimination in terms of job opportunities, among others.

She reaffirmed that passage of this bill would ensure that adequate penalties were meted to those who violated the rights of this populace sexually or otherwise across the country.

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