Charles Nwoke, Abuja, Nigeria
November 12, 2020
The National Commission for Persons with Disabilities (NCPD) has revealed that it has integrated about seven hundred ex-military officers, who had their limbs amputated and eventually dismissed from the service due to the Boko Haram insurgent.
The NCPD, which revealed this on Thursday during its 2021 budget defense at the National Assembly, pleaded for an upward review of its budget to meet with the increasing demand for its capital budget.
The Executive Secretary of the Commission, James Lalu explained that there are about 31.5 million Nigerians living with disability and the number keeps increasing daily especially with the recent challenges facing the nation.
He said: “Recently, we have to integrate about seven hundred ex-military personnel who had their limbs amputated and eventually dismissed from the service due to the Boko Haram insurgent. We have to provide artificial limbs for them to ensure they are reintegrated back to society, and live a normal life.”
Lalu noted that disability is no more a charity issue but has become a developmental issue that needs to be properly tackled.
The Executive Secretary warned that failure to address this issue will place a serious burden on the government, which will be grappled with the challenge of giving out stipends that will never achieve any lasting solution.
The budget increase, he said would take care of education, healthcare needs, and livelihood of people with disabilities, pointing out that a lot of disabled persons take to begging on the street when they cannot meet up with their basic needs.
Lalu also notified the Senate committee that, in its 2021 budget, the commission intends to open up zonal, states, and local government offices to reach out to all its members living in the rural areas.
Responding, the Committee on Special Duties, chaired by Senator Yusuf A. Yusuf, urged the commission to create a database of all its members across the country and design empowerment training for them especially those in the rural areas for a positive impact.
The committee, however, promised to sit down and take a critical look at their budget proposal and revert.