A renowned Non-Governmental Organisation at the fore front of promoting disability rights in the country, the Centre for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD), has called for the full implementation of the Lagos State Special Persons Law by public and private sectors in the state. The Executive Director of the Centre, Mr. David Anyaele, made the call during a public presentation of the report of a research the Centre conducted on the Assessment of the level of Compliance of Public Institutions in Lagos State to the Provisions of the Lagos State Special Persons Law, held in Lagos recently. The ED regretted that seven years after the enactment of the LSSPL in the state, compliance level to the provisions of the law is still low.
While stressing that the research was conducted as part of lined up activity for the CCD’s project on Promoting Disability Rights and Citizens with Disabilities Participation in Electoral Process in Lagos State which is supported by Ford Foundation, the ED, hinted that it hoped that the research will serve as an evidence-based data that portrays the level of implementation by public institutions in the state and areas that needs to be improved on in terms of implementation.
He also revealed the resolve by CCD to deploy subtle approach in getting stakeholders to comply to the provisions of the law, through enhanced sensitisation, other than the use of force.
On his part, the Senior Programme Officer, CCD, Mr. Kola Ogubiyi revealed that the 52-page report contains key findings like the low awareness level on the provisions of LSSPL by public institutions and persons with disabilities in Lagos State, the weak enforcement of the provisions of the law on accessibility, inclusion and welfare of PWDs, the inexistence of vital facilities at public buildings and the unavailability of the usage of facilities even where they exist, lack of mechanism to handle welfare of PWDs at MDAs, inexistence of MDA owned policies to help protect PWDs. He summarised the challenges identified during the assessment to include issues bordering on accessibility, inequality, financial needs, unemployment and stigmatisation of Persons with Disabilities.
Speaking earlier at the event, the Regional Director of Ford Foundation, Mr. Innocent Chukwuma, represented by his Personal Assistant, Adesuwa Ighile expressed dissatisfaction over the fact that Nigeria is not meeting up with international standards in providing public infrastructures that are all inclusive such as the absence of ramps and elevators in most public institutions. He called for change of values around issues that have to do with persons with disabilities.
She also stressed that though some states are making considerable efforts in ensuring an all-inclusive society like Lagos State, efforts should still be geared towards ensuring an inclusion of persons with disabilities in all parts of the country.