The National President for Persons with Disability Initiative in Nigeria (PDI), Engr. Augustine Onwuamaegbu, has said disabled persons have placed a request of N20 billion on federal government as part of measures to address the economic difficulties occasioned by COVID-19.
He disclosed that 33 NGOs of disabled persons came together to form the umbrella body. As president of the body, I also have a consultative status with the UN and a member of the European Disability Commission and Forum, he said.
Onwuamaegbu, who spoke at a programme organized to commemorate this year’s World Disability Day (WDD) in Abuja, said the body is requesting the N20 billion from federal government as it has initiated several packages in different sectors to help them come back after COVID-19.
He said: “We have this demand because government has national youth fund and survival fund. We, the disable persons also need national disability fund of about N20 billion so that persons with disabilities can access funds to help cushion the difficult times”
He acknowledged that Nigeria has a high number of persons suffering from one form of disability or the other, adding, we have a large number of persons with disabilities that are affected by physical disabilities apart from financial disability.
He said the body has sent the demand to the federal government through the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, adding however, that since the request was sent with several follow up, nothing has been done.
On the theme for the World Disability Day, he said: “Today’s theme is ‘Building Back Better Towards an Inclusive Accessible and Sustainable Post COVID-19 for and by Persons with Disabilities’, stressing that the body is advocating that government across the 3 tiers should include persons with disabilities in governance and in their scheme of things.
He commended President Muhammadu Buhari for signing into an Act the disability in 2019 and for setting up the Commission in 2020.