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PWDs: Why Nigeria Needs to Act Now – UNICEF 

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United' Nations International Children Education Fund (UNICEF) has joined civil society groups in reminding the federal government of Nigeria not to forget its promise of creating enabling environment for persons living with disability. 

The call was made by UNICEF's country representative to Nigeria, Peter Hawkins, recently.

President Muhammadu Buhari had in January 2019 signed the disability act into law; the law directed all private organizations and government agency and parastatal to have a proviso that put persons living with disabilities into consideration in all their dealings.

UNICEF country representative Peter Hawkins, represented by Godwin Odo at the commemoration of the World Day for people living with disabilities organized by Disability Rights Advocacy Centre (DRAC), says the body would not wait until the law becomes operational before it sensitizes everyone to ensure that all public buildings are accessible to people with disability especially schools, hospitals and other areas where children need to access. 

"Under the Disability Act, there is a provision that says that all public buildings must be made disability friendly and it gives a five-year period from the time the law was passed to when all public buildings must comply with these requirements,” Hawkins said.

"What it entails is that for any government-built planning agency, you can no longer give approval for a public building that does not have access for ramps for disabled people.

"If you look at banks today, with the kind of security doors they have ، many of them need to provide alternative access for people on wheelchair and others."

Meanwhile DRAC Executive Director, Dr Irene Patrick-Ogbogu stated that persons with disabilities also do not want to be left behind in a post covid world, hence they yearn to be part of leadership.  


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