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‘It will take a century to achieve 50% of the needs of people with disabilities’

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‘It will take a century to achieve 50% of the needs of people with disabilities’

The Executive secretary of National Commission for Persons with Disabilities James David Lalu has indicated that it will take almost 100 years to meet 50% of the expectations of people living with disabilities based on meagre budget of N1, 749, 884, 495 allocated for the commission

He spoke yesterday during the budget defense of the commission before the senate committee on special duties.

According to him, even if the new commission is going to be allocated N20 Billion every year, it will take almost 20 years to meet half of their needs.
“Just the provision of assistive device only, before a person can get artificial limbs that can last for more than five years he will require N500, 000.
He said at the moment that Nigeria is facing so much challenges of crises a lot of people are already becoming members of persons with disabilities. “Some of them because of gun shots and they are amputated. Today in Nigeria we are with the statistics everyday in our tertiary health facilities you have one or two persons being amputated.
“And an amputated person who does not have artificial limb but walks with clutches  automatically can not go to farm, he will not be able to fend for himself and when it happens he may resort to begging. Just because he has no wheel chair he may not be able to go to school and this a way that a potential president and a potential Local Government chairman or a potential senator is wasted just because he does not have the basic limb.
“These are things that are tied to us as a commission that we are to provide for them so that they can stand on their own.”
He said despite all the COVID-19 palliatives given to persons with disabilities if they are not provided with basic assistive devices to stand on their own to do business or farming automatically they can not do anything.
He said the commission was established and their appointments were announced on the 24th of August 2020.
“It was established mainly to take care of persons with disabilities across the federation.
“We have accumulated population of 31.5 million persons with disability across Nigeria.”
He explained that the commission’s main mandate is to take care of their education, their health, livelihood, provision of accessible facilities, and protection of their lives and dignity as citizens of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
He said taking care of their education means they have to ensure the enrolment of their children in schools from primary to tertiary education.
“When you talk about empowerment, it starts with education and providing education for them is the first thing we have to do.
“In the area of health to provide healthcare services to persons with disability across Nigeria, in the area of livelihood we have to ensure that persons with disability are properly empowered to stand on their own and fend for themselves.
“In the area of accessibility it is within our mandate to ensure that all public buildings in Nigeria are properly accessible for persons with disability with provision of all accessible facilities to ensure that our people can move freely everywhere.”
This he said is important so that they can have many of them as senators like the committee members so they can make their contribution to the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
He said their mandate which has to do with the protection of their rights is to make sure that they reduce to the bearest minimum discrimination against every person with disability in every government circle, so that they can participate in every Government activity.
“Our approach as a commission is inclusive development approach
So it is no longer charity but to see persons with disability as partners in progress.
“We must make sure we mainstream people with disability into all government programme and projects.
“To at least ensure 10 percent inclusion of persons with disability in all Government activities”
In the area of employment  he said the national disability commission has already made provision for 5% of persons with disability employment.
“We are soliciting the cooperation of this committee to ensure we realise the 5% employment opportunity for persons with disabilities in all Government parastatals.
“Provision of disability specific services which has to do with a lot of disability assistive devices.
“A lot of persons with disability today require artificial limbs, some hearing aid, these are some of the things tied to the disability commission to make sure we respond to these in all of the 774 local Governments in Nigeria.
“The expectations of persons with disability in this commission is very very high. We require the support of your committee to see how we can meet with these Dmands.”
He said when the senators go for their campaigns they will see persons with disabilities in their constituencies who also support them one way or the other.
“Our budget proposal for the 2021 was N1, 749, 884, 495 for the personel cost it is N749884498 and for Overhead it is N299,999,997
Capital cost N700m
Looking into our mandate is to cater for all persons with disability in all 774 local Government areas and over 8000 electoral wards in Nigeria.
He asked the committee to consider an upward review of the budget so they can meet with high expectations from the disability community.
He said in their budget there is provision for data and provision for disability certificate to make it possible to identify their members and make sure that all the interventions that are going to be provided are provided for the real persons with disabilities.

The chairman of the committee senator Yusuf Yusuf demanded that the commission establish a database for people with disabilities—from local governments to states to ascertain the exact number.
“Then we will know the kind of health facilities we have to provide, the kind of capacity building you are going to make, means of livelihood, education etc.
“I looked at your 2021 budget to see which area we are going to capture that for making provision for effective database. We will look at it so see what amendments to make to give you leeway to spend money.”
He also canvassed for the creation of zonal and states offices as he pointed out the fact that it was not captured in the budget.
“But we will look at it to see how you are going to build your offices. We would want that structure of state and local government offices in the next 24 hours.”

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Bauchi/Benue Govs’ feud: Gov Diri to the rescue

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Bauchi/Benue Govs’ feud: Gov Diri to the rescue

By Princess Rose Yusuf

The Bayelsa State Governor, Duoye Diri has waded in to the war of words between the Governors of Bauchi and Benue State as the recent altercations between the Governors have become very disturbing.
He called on the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to wade in and ensure that the matter is resolved.
He was speaking during a courtesy visit to Governor Bala Muhammed in Bauchi State Government’s House Thursday.
Diri said,
“The raging current issue between two brother Governors of the same party is not good, I seize this opportunity to advise and call on both of you who are members of our great party to please cease further actions and reactions on the burning national security issues.
“May I also use the opportunity to call on our party to immediately intervene and resolve whatever issues that are still yet unresolved amicably as a party and as brothers.”

In his response, Governor Muhammed promised to cooperate and reduce the tension and he gave the assurance that no words would be heard on the matter again. He also seized the opportunity to  apologise to all Governors, the national assembly, his constituents and all Nigerians.
He said, “There is no disharmony between me and my brother and my friend in Benue, we are just having the courage to discourse a burning National issue and I am happy that Nigerians have the opportunity, to discourse the issue and we are going to do everything on my own part to make sure we disedcalate the issue that it will not bring injury to our party and to national unity. I was not doing anything in anyway to insult, or to cause any injury to my brother whom I have worked together with at the cabinet and now as Governors.
“I want to use this opportunity to apologise to my various contituencies; especially the national assembly even though I said the truth but it has injured their sensibilities or it has touched on their privileged as we used to say in parliamentary parlance.
“I was doing it out of nationalism and patriotism. At the same time the Governors if what I said was also injurious to them, I apologise to them and say sorry to them and indeed all Nigerians.
“But certainly as I said, my brother, I have no apology for saying the truth, but certainly sometimes you say the truth and it would be injurious.

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Senate confirms Bawa as EFCC Chairman

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Senate confirms Bawa as EFCC Chairman

The Senate on Wednesday confirmed Abdulrasheed Bawa as the substantive Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

He was confirmed after being grilled during Senate plenary.

For more than six years the commission was headed by persons in acting capacity.

For the first time a staff of the commission who is not a police officer is being appointed as chairman.
He rose through the ranks from the academy before being nominated to head the commission.

The Anti graft agency’s chairmanship designate reacted to a plethora of questions posed by Senators on his preparedness for the job, given his age and working in a complex society like Nigeria, at planary

Bawa, addressed most of the concerns of lawmakers, while assuring that he would bring his experience to bear having joined the agency in 2004.

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Gov Bala Mohammed berates Ortom for criminalising the Fulani herders

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Gov Bala Mohammed berates Ortom for criminalising the Fulani herders

By Princess Rose Yusuf

Governor Bala Muhammed of Bauchi State has berated the Benue state governor for being an arrow head in excerbating the bad media framings, criminalizing the Fulani tribe in Nigeria.
Muhammed spoke at the Press week organised by the Bauchi state Correspondents’ Chapel, Monday, in Bauchi.
The Governor reminded Ortom that other states in the North also accommodates other tribes, including people from the Tiv extraction in Bauchi and other places.
In his words, “We have so many Tiv speaking people farming in Alkaleri, In Tafawa Balewa and in Bogoro LGAs; has anybody told them to leave the State?. “We have not; because its their own inalienable rights to be there.

Explaining further, he said there are Yorubas in Bauchi, for over 150 years, even before the birth of Nigeria; some of them have risen to become permanent Secretaries in the Civil Service of the state, and other states of the North East like Gombe and Borno.“
“However, because at the moment the Fulani man is practicing the tradition of pastoralism, he has been exposed to the vagaries of the forest, cattle rustlers who carry guns, killed him and take away his livelihood, his cows.”
The Governor said he is left with no option than to carry the AK47 because the society and the government could not protect him.
“What is his fault? it’s the fault of the government and the people.”Governor Senator Bala said“nobody  should criminalize all Fulanis, because in every tribe, there are criminals. “If Cybercrime is practiced by one tribe, you don’t criminalise all the tribe by saying they are criminals.
“That sensitivity is highly needed, and journalists have to exercised restraints in some reports, decipher the wrongs from rights, especially any report that is not building this country Nigeria, which can divide her and threaten the peace and the unity of the country

He however, commended his counterpart Simon Lalong of Plateau State for ending the mutual suspicion between fulanis and farmers of his state without looking at political differences.
He said, “I must comment the chairman of the Nortgern Governor’s forum, Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State. “With his diverse background despite being a minority State, he’s leading the northern Governors with focus, with sense of humour, and maturity.

Muhammed indicated that people like Lalong are needed in Nigeria for the good fight of faith for unity and peace in his state as the fight between farmers and fulanis in the Plateau has ceased, because of justice and equity.

Patriotism among communities is now common place in Plateau because of governance that fosters understanding between the diverse ethnic groups in the state.

“And that is what is happening in Bauchi, where everyone is important. So the media must single out those people for promotion not like people in other States that are asking Fulanis to leave their lands.
The Governor indicated that nobody can intimidate any one over land since it belongs to all(our fathers land) quoting section 23, 24 and 25, of the constitution to back up his claim he said that every Nigerian is free to stay anywhere.
It is worthy of note that Governor Muhammed though not a Fulani by tribe, but a Bajari from Duguri district, Alkaleri LGA has been standing in defense of the Fulani.
In a swift reaction the Benue state Governor expressed disappointment with his colleague the Bauchi state Governor, for heaping the blame of the negative perception of Fulani herders on him.
“He said, it was surprising that a colleague, who took the oath of office to protect and preserve the Constitution, now takes the lead in violating provisions of the same Constitution by calling for lawlessness.

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