Ugo Nosiri, Owerri
The National Commission for Persons With Disabilities under the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, has come up with a permanent disability certificate aimed at stopping any form of discrimination against persons with disabilities in the country.
The Executive Secretary, National Commission for Persons with disabilities, Mr James Lalu, stated this at a one-day zonal programme for the production and issuance of permanent disability certificate for the South-East zone held in Owerri, the Imo State capital.
Mr Lalu represented by the Director Compliance and Enforcement Department of the Commission, Mr. Ikem Uchegbulem, said the domestication of the discrimination against persons with disability prohibition act 2018 has encouraged the commission to criminalise all forms of discrimination.
Mr. Uchegbulem said the act which provides five percent employment quota for persons with disabilities in public institutions would enable those with permanent disability certificate to benefit more and urged those who had not registered to do so.
“It is the awareness for those that have applied; we are veryfying them and those that are here we access the level of disability and know where to categorise them. The benefit of the certificate is that the law recognises that certificate as the legal identity of the disability. If you want to claim any benefit under the act, the act has provided some remedies based on the infringement of the rights that the act has created. The act has made that position of that certificate a legal requirement to obtain any remedy from the law Court.”
Declaring the event open, the Imo State Commissioner for Women Affairs and Vulnerable Group, Mrs Nkechi Ugwu, reaffirms the ministry’s commitment to ensure that those with disability are well treated.
Mrs Ugwu represented by the Director of Finance in the ministry, Dr Ezioma DeNwigwe, said the ministry has mapped out strategies to empower them through the provision of wheel chairs clutches, food items, employment and admission into schools.
“The ministry is concerned about all that affect disabled persons, caring for persons with disability; it has become the part of the mandate of the ministry of women affairs.”
some of the beneficiaries Ifeoma Uchegbu and Mr.Gideon Okoroafor expressed joy that the certificate received will enhance their means of livelihood.
“Am so happy to have the certificate today there was a time that when I remembered my disability I cried but today it’s a thing of joy. I can be able to do something I cannot do before….. The benefit of the certificate is that it will make the disabled people to have their full rights in the act in government. If they go against them we will now go to court.”
The highlight of the programme was the unveiling of the permanent disability certification forms.