REPORTER: CHUKWUKA AGUKWE
The National Commission for Persons With Disabilities under the Federal Ministry of Human Affairs and Poverty Alleviation has come up with a permanent disability certificate aimed at stopping any form of discrimination against persons with disability in the country.
The Executive Secretary, National Commission for Persons with disabilities, Mr. James Lalu, stated this in a message to 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” had encouraged the commission to criminalize all forms of discrimination.
Mr. Uchegbulem said the Act, which provides 5% 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 were access the level of disability and know where to categorize them.
“The benefit of the certificate is that the law recognize that certificate as the legal identifity of the disability.
“If you want to claim any benefit under the Act, the Act has provided some remedies based on the inflidgment of the rights that the acts has created
“The Act has made that position of that certificate a legal requirement to obtain any remedy from the law Court,” he stated.
Declaring the event open, the Imo State Commissioner for Women Affairs and Vulnerable Group, Mrs. Nkechi Ugwu, reaffirmed the ministry’s commitment to ensure that those with disability were well treated.
Mrs. Ugwu represented by the Director of finance in the Ministry, Dr. Ezioma DeNwigwe, said the ministry had mapped out strategies to empowered 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, catching for persons with disability, it has become the part of the mandate of the Ministry of Women Affairs.
“It has to a great extent brought a lot of encouragement. I want to say thet honourable commissioner has also used her office to attract food items,” she said.
Two of the beneficiaries, Ifeoma Uchegbu and Mr. Gideon Okoroafor, expressed joy that the certificate received would 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 the joy. I can be able (sic) to do something I can not do before.
“The benefit of the certificate: 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,” they said.
The highlights of the programme was the unveiling of the permanent disability certification forms.
EDITED BY CHUKWUBUIKE MADU