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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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Humanitarian ministry insists States hoarded palliatives

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Humanitarian ministry insists States hoarded palliatives

The minister of Humanitathas denied having any link with hoarded palliatives meant for distribution to the needy during the COVID-19 pandemic by many states as she restated that all palliatives donated to the ministry were distributed accordingly.
The minister made the disclosure on Monday during a national Press conference in Abuja on the activities of the ministry since inception.
She said, “Recently, the world witnessed the unfortunate incidence of looting of palliatives and relief materials stashed away in warehouses in some states of the country during the #EndSars protest.

“As the Minister of
Humanitarian Affairs, I want to categorically state that the Palliatives
donated to the Ministry by the Nigerian Customs Services, National
Strategic Grain Reserve, and many good willing donors were handed to
State officials for onward distribution to the poor and vulnerable in thier
states.

“The Ministry identifies its strategic role and impact in the everyday lives of the Nigerian. We want to assure the public that we are on ground working every day for Nigerians.”

She expressed satisfaction with the success story of one of the Federal Government’s Investment programs, the N-POWER as 109, 823 benefitiaries have successfully started their own businesses

According to her, “After the two-year period, facts and reports show that some of the
beneficiaries of Batch A and Batch B of the programme have established
businesses in their communities, with no fewer than 109,823
beneficiaries of the N-Power Programme who have identified themselves
as business owners.

According to her, “Current Enrolment Status of beneficiaries for N-power Batch C closed in July 2020 and we have received over 5 Million applications since the portal opened.
“The application process will be concluded as soon as possible to provide additional Nigerian youths access to the programme.
“At this juncture, I want to officially announce that the Central Bank of
Nigeria in collaboration with the Ministry has developed a portal to
enable the exited N-Power beneficiaries to log on and apply for the
various economic empowerment and entrepreneurship options provided by the Central Bank such as the AGSMEIS loan and the AnchorBorrowers Program (ABP). “Interested N-Power exited beneficiaries
should log on to the CBN portal for more information.
The website portal is nexit-fmhds.cbn.gov.ng as displayed on the screen.

Farouq also refuted the claim that her ministry has been feeding the Internally Displaced persons with poor nutritious food saying the Ministry has been making different grains available and also allow other bodies who make donations of their choice which the Ministry cannot restrict or limit.

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FG mulls reversal of Fuel price (PMS) as organized labour mounts pressure

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FG mulls reversal of Fuel price (PMS) as organized labour mounts pressure

The Federal Government may be planning to reverse the pump price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) to N160 per litre if the pressure being mounted by the organised Labour on the Federal Government is fruitful.

At the end of the resumed negotiations between government and the labour movement Friday night, the Federal Government indicated willingness to consult widely with the view to reviewing the price downward.

The indication shows that   the new price might be unveiled at the resumed meeting slated for December 7.
The Federal Government said the period between now and then would allow it embark on a wide range consultation over Labour’s request.
Labour had insisted that the pump price must be reviewed downward to N160 before negotiations can proceed on the hike in electricity tariffs and deregulation of the downstream sector of the petroleum industry.
Minister for Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, who disclosed this at the end of the latest meeting between the Federal Government and organised Labour on the recent increases in the pump price of petrol and electricity tariff, added that the meeting agreed to let the government side consult with their principal and every relevant authority on the request of the Labour
He stated: “The message from the organised Labour is clear; they want a reversal of the pump price of PMS. The parties have agreed to let the government side consult their principal on that. We will consult the President, minister of Petroleum and the Economic Management Team.”
The minister noted that though it was no longer the responsibility of government to fix the pump price of PMS as it had been deregulated, the matter still fell within the realm of the economy.
On the issue of the electricity tariff, Ngige said the committee working on it, headed by the Minister of State for Labour, Festus Keyamo, already had an interim report and would use the opportunity created by the adjournment of the meeting to undertake field visits to the different Distribution Companies (DisCos) in Nigeria and come back with a more comprehensive report.

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INEC chair: Lawan denies taking N2b bribe to confirm Yakubu

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INEC chair: Lawan denies taking N2b bribe to confirm Yakubu

By James Ojochegbe

The president of the senate Ahmad Lawan has denied collecting any gratification of N2b to facilitate the confirmation of the INEC chairman as alleged by an online publication.

This contained in a Statement issued in Abuja by his special Adviser on media Ola Awoniyi.
The statement reads, “The attention of the Office of the Senate President has been drawn to a report by SaharaReporters alleging that a group led by the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, collected N2billion from Professor Mahmood Yakubu to facilitate the confirmation of his appointment by President Muhammadu Buhari to a fresh five-year tenure as chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

“It is noteworthy that the publication, as always with its ridiculous fabricated reports, could not even expand the entertainment of its readers by providing the names of members of the fictitious group and where the group operates from.
“To be sure, that group exists only in the mischievious imagination of the writer of the fiction.”
The Statement enjoined Nigerians to ignore the report as yet another incident of hallucination by the comical characters operating the fabricated news platform.

“The online medium has long earmed its notoriety as a purveyor of fake news with high profile public officials as its targets. 
“It is well known that only the President can nominate a candidate for appointment or reappointment as Chairman of INEC.
And only the Senate as a body can confirm or reject the appointment, after due screening of the candidate.
“The parliamentary process for the confirmation of nominations by the President is open and involves all distinguished senators.
“The Senate President is only a presiding officer of the Senate and does not lead any group in or outside the august chamber that acts in any way to circumvent the processes of the Senate. “We reassure Nigerians that the Senate President did not receive any gratification, in his or behalf of others, to help Professor Yakubu get a second term as chairman of INEC.”

He challenged SaharaReporters and the sponsors of the false publication to provide whatever evidence that they can in support of their glib claims, failing which Nigerians should dismiss the report as another cheap blackmail from a platform that has no reputation for credible reportage and ethical journalism practise.”

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