The National Population Commission of Nigeria (NPC) has estimated that at least 19 million Nigerians are living with disabilities.
Chairman of the Commission, Eze Duruiheoma (SAN), announced this during the 73rd UN General Assembly General Discussion of Agenda 28 on Social Development at the UN headquarters in New York.
The World Bank estimates that one billion people, or 15 per cent of the world’s population, experience some form of disabilities and the prevalence is higher for developing countries. The NPC chief said Nigeria has a policy that reserves a percentage of vacancies for the disabled, adding the corporate organisations are also encouraged to reserve two per cent for the disabled population.
“As a result, government is implementing measures to promote and enhance the entrepreneurial skills of many of our 19 million Persons with Disabilities (PWDs).
This is executed through training in various vocations and provision of relevant tools to enable them to embark on economic ventures of their choice.
Furthermore, corporate organisations in Nigeria are encouraged to reserve two per cent of their vacancies to PWDs in support of the existing policy in the public sector.”
He said Nigeria recognises the importance of implementing policies that bridge social inequality gap through poverty eradication, social integration, full employment and decent work that target especially the disability population.
“As part of our commitment to the continuous implementation of the relevant provisions of the 2002 Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing, President Muhammadu Buhari signed into law the National Senior Citizen Act 2018 early this year. The Act mandates all tiers of government, including institutions in the country, to establish National Senior Citizens Centres to ensure proper care, training, integration, orientation and re-orientation of senior citizens. This highlights the need for, and ensuring full utilisation of potential and expertise of the elderly, while recognising the benefits of increased experience through age, as well as strengthening intergenerational solidarity,” Duruiheoma said.