The National Orientation Agency (NOA) and a coalition of civil society organisations have agreed to work together to promote the wider implementation of the Persons With Disability Act (PWDA), especially those aspects that specify timelines for its realisation around the country.

Director General of the Agency, Dr. Garba Abari made this commitment when the group led by the Country Director of Acountability Lab International, Mr Friday Odeh visited his office in Abuja. The group comprised of five other organisations working together to improve diversity inclusivesness in the socio- political landscape of the country.

According to Abari, the poor implementation of the provisions of the Disability Act was noted during the review of the implementation report held three weeks ago and a resolution was reached to match action with words. “We had a round table three weeks ago to interogate the issues and we realised that there are very poor implementation strategies. It is not enough to celebrate the enactment of the Act, we must implement the Act.” He said.

The Director General further explained that since the signing of the bill into law, NOA has continued to push for the designation of Desk Officers in MDAs as a way of raising awareness and ensuring compliance with the law.

The group which came to seek NOA involvement in taking the provisions of the act to the grassroots, urged the Agency to leverage on its mandate to reach out to other government agencies to take the implementation more seriously. It listed the issues that require immediate compliance to include access to structures with a five year preparatory plan, 3% employment slot for persons with disability, provision for airplane boarding and preferential access in queues, zebra crossing and pedestrian bridges for the disabled.

“We want you to play more active role in lifting the plights of the vulnerable, especially persons with disability”, Odeh said.

Paul Odenyi

Assistant Director, Press

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