The chairperson of the disability committee also said plans are afoot to mainstream disability inclusion into all facets of law-making and oversight delivery of the legislature
The House of Representatives Committee on Disability has said it will work to ensure that concerns around disability inclusion are mainstreamed into the 2024 budget being processed by the National Assembly.
The Committee also said it seek allocation of more funds for the National Commission for Persons with Disability (NCPWD) in the 2024 budget.
The Committee chairman, Rep. Bashiru Dawodu (APC, Lagos), said this while speaking at the OrderPaper OPEN (Online Parliamentary Engagement Nigeria) Space conversation on X (formerly Twitter) on Sunday, December 3.
The online conversation, which is themed, ‘the Prohibition against PWD Law: How far, so far,’ was organised to commemorate the International Day for People Living with Disability (IDPD 2023).
The lawmaker expressed concern about the poor funding of the commission and its impact on its ability to effectively monitor the implementation of the Discrimination against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Act, 2018.
“The commission is the agency to enforce the act, but it is not well funded to play this role. So we are looking to increase the budget of the commission so that it can play its role,” Rep. Dawodu said.
During the OrderPaper Open Space, he also highlighted some of the strategies the committee intended to adopt to ensure proper implementation of the disability rights act, including visits to relevant committees and MDAs during and after budget defence to reiterate the importance of disability inclusion.
“We are putting together a joint task force of relevant committees about disability matters who monitor and provide consistent reminders to the relevant bodies on the 5 percent employment quota reserved for PWDs according to the provision of the act. The committee will also oversight all MDAs, and we are going to call them up, and question them on their implementation plan.”
Rep Dawodu also disclosed that the committee also intends to initiate a bill that allows it to scrutinise all the laws passed in the House.
According to him, this is to ensure that every law is inclusive and puts into consideration PWDs in the country.
“We are considering a bill that stipulates that every law passed in the house must be reviewed by the committee to make sure that the law is inclusive. All government agencies must carry along PWDs in whatever programme and policies that they are doing and we would like to have this backed by law.
“There are other interesting areas. That is in terms of lawmaking, oversights, and budget. We will continue to do a lot of awareness along with CSOs. Because awareness is important,” he added.
Apart from Rep. Dawodu, other speakers who featured at the OPEN Space conversation were Lois Auta, Executive Director, Cedar Seed Foundation, and Humphrey Ukeaja, Senior Programme and Disability Expert, Centre for Citizens with Disability (CDD).