By Golok Nanmwa ,Jos
Plateau state Governor Simon Lalong has distributed wheelchairs and other items to over 1,151 physically challenged persons in Jos the state capital.
Speaking at the occasion Lalong said he was elated to be part of the occasion, noting that the fact that the fact that the world was also celebrating the International Day for People with Disabilities (IDPD) is not a mere coincidence but rather a loud testimony of his administrations resolve to give succor to people with disabilities.
“Let me reiterate for the umpteenth time as I have stated on other occasions in the past that disability is not synonymous with inability, hence our resolve to carry every individual along, irrespective of their physical conditions or status, so as to achieve the overall developmental objectives of the Rescue Administration in the state. ”
“The theme for this year’s IDPD, which is: “Empowering Persons with Disabilities and Ensuring Inclusiveness and Equality,” is indeed apt and timely, considering that it focuses on the empowering of persons with disabilities for inclusive, equitable and sustainable development, which is in line with our administration’s cardinal policy thrusts.”
“Our Disabilities Policy is an ambitious plan of action that is first among equals in Nigeria. It aims, by and large, at leaving no one behind, in our journey to achieving a peaceful and prosperous of our dreams, where the dignity of an individual person, and equality among all, is placed on the front burner, as enunciated by the United Nations. ”
“It was against this backdrop that, at the onset of this administration, we constituted the Plateau State Disability Rights Commission charged with the responsibility of ensuring the full and equal participation of persons with disabilities in all spheres of society and create the enabling environments by, for and with persons with disabilities. No fewer than six persons with disabilities, including members of the state cabinet have been appointed into government. This is the highest by any state government in Nigeria. I have again given approval for an additional 53 employment slots for the Disability Commission for the establishment of final offices and improved service delivery to the grassroots.”
” It is gratifying to disclose that the Commission has vigorously pursued its mandate with astonishing speed and outcomes. It has secured for people with disabilities donors’ assistance and support, such as the mobility aids which we are commissioning and distributing today, as well as timely interventions, some promissory, in the areas of improved access to quality education, access to health services, construction of accessibility facilities, mass empowerment projects, skills development in modern technologies, among others.”
” The successes recorded in our pursuit of the disabilities causes are legion. For instance, in 2017, the state government, in collaboration with Tolaram Charity Foundation distributed about 500 free artificial limbs to amputees in the state, has approved and paid the requisite counterpart funds.”
He further said “Government also recently granted approval for the training of 2 persons with disabilities on orthotics and prostheses in Malaysia for 1yr 6 months They have since returned home to contribute their quota to state and national development. The government also recently approved the sum of 3.7m to support a deaf student to complete his fees at Gallaudet University, USA.
“The state government is also partnering with OTTOBUCKS in Germany to build a world-class workshop where artificial limbs of global standards are to be produced in the state at a low cost.”
“We have also given approval for the conduct of baseline survey of persons with disabilities, which is ongoing in all districts to enable the Government to map out effective strategies for the inclusion and empowerment of persons with disabilities in the state. Again, this survey is the first of its in Nigeria. Next month, I will commission the survey report, strategic plan for the Commission and a standard website to promote the Commission to the international community.