PWDs advocate for 5% share of N5bn FG palliatives

PWDs advocate for 5% share of N5bn FG palliatives

In a move to ensure equitable distribution of relief funds, the National Association of Persons with Physical Disabilities (NAPWPD) has urged for a 5% allocation from the N5 billion palliative approved by the Federal Government for states and local government councils.

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The allocation of this fund is aimed at assisting regions affected by recent economic changes, particularly the fuel subsidy removal by the President Bola Tinubu-led administration.

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The disbursement of the N5 billion palliative to states, local government councils, and the Federal Capital Territory was announced by Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno after the National Economic Council meeting on August 17th in Abuja.

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The funds are intended to mitigate the impact of the subsidy removal on petrol. Notably, this fund will be granted based on a distribution formula of 52% as grants and 48% as loans, to be repaid to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) within 20 months by the states and local councils.

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In response to this initiative, the National President of NAPWPD, Mr. Rilwan Mohammed, emphasized the importance of allocating 5% of the relief fund to Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) in line with the Discrimination Against Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) Prohibition Act.

He highlighted that Section 25 of the Disability Law specifically outlines the need to prioritize and safeguard the interests of PWDs during times of risk or humanitarian crises.

Expressing concern over the exclusion of PWDs from the decision-making process regarding the disbursement of funds, Mohammed underscored the urgency of adhering to the disability law’s provision for a sharing formula that caters to marginalized groups.

He stated, “Our members now find it difficult to access public transport as the transport system is largely inaccessible and unaffordable to members of the disability community.”

This underscores the necessity of implementing measures that enable PWDs to access essential services without hindrance.

To address these challenges, Mohammed urged the federal, state, and local governments to prioritize the needs of PWDs in the utilization of the N5 billion palliative.

He called for the implementation of a clear template that accommodates marginalized groups.

He further stressed that this initiative isn’t just a charity request but aligns with the legal provisions established by the disability law.

One of the critical areas where changes are required is public transportation.

To make public transport accessible to PWDs, Mohammed suggested incorporating adjustable ramps and handrails for wheelchair users.

Moreover, vehicles should be equipped with signage, electronic displays for directions, and audio announcements for individuals who are deaf or blind.

These adaptations are not only essential for inclusivity but also mandated by the disability law.

The NAPWPD’s call for a 5% share of the N5 billion palliative fund earmarked for states and local government councils resonates with the organization’s commitment to safeguarding the rights and interests of Persons with Disabilities.

By adhering to the provisions of the disability law and ensuring the inclusion of PWDs in decision-making processes, the Nigerian government can create a more inclusive and equitable society, providing essential support to those who need it the most.


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