By G9ija

Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Farouq, has announced the take-off of the National Commission for Persons with Disabilities (NCPWD).This followed the approval of the appointment of executive members of the commission by President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja on Monday.

In a statement signed by the Special Adviser on Strategic Communications to the Minister, Halima Oyelade, in Abuja yesterday, the minister said since her appointment in 2019, she had maintained her commitment to the take-off of the commission.

“Today is a very happy and fulfilling day for me, as one of the vulnerable groups that are close to my heart finally has got a commission and executives in place; those that will cater for their needs, protect their rights and provide an enabling environment for them to maximise their potentials, thrive and contribute valuably to the society,” she said.

However, the newly-appointed chairman of NCPWD, Dr. Hussaini Kangiwa, has assured Persons With Disabilities (PWDs) of a sense of belonging in the society.

While confirming his appointment to newsmen on phone yesterday, he promised to make the commission vibrant and carry PWDs along by empowering them to be self-reliant.

Kangiwa, who represented Arugungu/ Augie/ Kangiwa Federal Constituency of Kebbi State in the National Assembly, said he would use his experience to bring sanity to the commission.

“I will fight for the right PWDs and make sure that everyone will benefits from government’s gestures across the country,” he added.

President Muhammadu Buhari recently approved the composition of the NCPWD governing council and appointed the Executive Secretary of the commission as chairman.

According to a statement by the Special Adviser to the President (Media and Publicity), Femi Adesina, in Abuja yesterday, the president’s action is in line with the Discrimination Against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Act.

Other members of the commission include Oparaku Jaja (South East), Philomena Konwea (South South), Omopariola Oluwasola (South West), Amina Rahma Audu (North West), Mrs. Esther Awu (North Central) and Abba Ibrahim (North East).

Meanwhile, the Centre for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD) has commended Buhari for approving the composition of the NCPWD governing council.

CCD, which had been clamouring for the presidential approval, described the list of the board members as a clear statement that the Federal Government has commenced full implementation of the Discrimination against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Act, also known as the National Disability Act.

The Executive Director of CDD, David Anyaele, stated yesterday that the approval of the governing council and subsequent dispatch to the National Assembly for screening was in fulfilment of the National Disability Act.

It appealed to the president to “take appropriate measures to ensure that the budget of the NCPWD features in the 2021 appropriation” to avoid financial hiccups in the take off the commission.