The Count Disability Nigeria Coalition says three years after Nigeria made a commitment at the 2018 Global Disability Summit, the nation is yet to implement it.
Dr Irene Patrick-Ogbogu, the convener of the coalition of organisations of Persons With Disabilities (PWDs) at a news conference in Abuja said that Nigeria was committed to establishing a verified disaggregated database for PWDs.
Patrick-Ogbogu said that going by the World Bank and World Health Organisation disability prevalence rate of 15 per cent in 2018, it was estimated that about 29 million out of 195 million population of Nigeria were PWDs.
She however said that the absence of concrete data to provide real usable evidence for this estimation reduced it to a mere abstract proclamation.
She said that this had contributed immensely to the worsening exclusion and vulnerability of PWDs in Nigeria.
“July 2021 marked the third anniversary of the commitments made by the Nigerian government at the Global Disability Summit held in the UK in 2018, to collect and use reliable and comparable data on disability.
“Another commitment is to set up a data and research fund and to use the Washington Group of questions for both the National Census and the National Demographic Survey by 2023.
“At the Summit, 10 national governments including Nigeria committed to using the Washington Group set of questions on disability status in upcoming national censuses or surveys.
“Seven countries Nigeria, Kenya, Kyrgyz Republic, Malawi, Rwanda, Tanzania and Zambia will include the questions in their national population census in the next five years.
Patrick-Ogbogu said that in spite of Nigeria’s commitments, a progress assessment carried out by Count Disability Coalition, showed the absence of institutional frameworks and strategic guidelines on development of National Disability Database.
She said this constituted some of the key reasons why most of the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) responsible for managing population and other demographic data were yet to fully commit to implementing the Charter of Change.
She said that the Nigerian government and other organisations made 170 sets of commitments around four central themes of the summit.
She said these included ensuring dignity and respect for all, inclusive of education routes to economic empowerment and harnessing technology and innovation as well as two themes of women and girls with disabilities and data aggregation.
She said that prior to the 2018 summit, Nigeria committed to the implementation of other commitments around PWDs that required the strengthening of capacity to provide high equality, timely and reliable data disaggregated by disability and other characteristics.
Patrick-Ogbogu said that the Count Disability Nigeria Coalition recently developed a white paper on disability data in Nigeria in collaboration with other organisations as a strategic intervention to initiate national policy on database.
She said that the paper formed the foundational basis for policy and institutional framework for the collection and management of disability-disaggregated data in Nigeria in line with other national Acts.
She said that the group recommended that Nigerian MDAs should key into existing international and multilateral groups to access available resources among others.
She also advised that capacity of MDAs should be built in a strategic and sustained manner for service delivery and disabilities organisations should also strengthen their advocacy.
She said that the data would play pivotal role across all aspect of development in Nigeria, adding that it would enhance designing, planning, implementation, monitoring, policy framework and allocation of funds would spur inclusion.
Patrick-Ogbogu called on the Federal Government to fulfil its commitment at the 2018 disability summit, especially to the collection and management of disability data in Nigeria.
Mr Olajide Funsho, co-convener of the coalition said that PWDs were neglected during the COVID-19 lockdown because government officials found it difficult to get their demography and disaggregated data for palliatives distribution.
Funsho lamented that although the National Disability Act recommended five per cent quota for employment slots of PWDs, relevant agencies always found it difficult to identify the disaggregated data in terms of age, sex, disabilities and location.