President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered an increase in the recruitment quota of persons with disabilities (PWDs) from two to 10 per cent.
The senior special assistant to the president on disability matters, Dr. Samuel Ankeli, disclosed this in Abuja on Monday at an event tagged ‘Empowering Persons with Disabilities and Ensuring their Inclusiveness and Equality’ to mark the International Day of Persons with Disabilities.
Ankeli who represented the president at the official launch of Baseline Survey of Persons with Disabilities in the federal civil service on the PWDs Day also said it was being observed that those who are educated enough for employment were not given a fair share of the federal civil service openings.
“It is a normal government procedure to improve policies where need be.
“It’s a policy decision and the head of service with her team will prepare a document for the attention of the President to see how we can do things as urgently as possible.
“This will help us to improve the recruitment quota of PWDs from the negligible two per cent to 10 per cent and provide an allowance to cushion the expenses and extra stresses of PWDs.
“I am sure that with the proper document, which is a memo to the President, the relevant actions will be taken on it to improve the lives of PWDs,” he said.
In her remarks, the head of service of the federation, Mrs. Winifred Oyo-Ita, described the theme of the event as “apt” adding that the survey would go a long way to reassure PWDs in the service that issues of their welfare are on the front burner.
She said the federal government was working to bridge the gap of inequality in the society adding that her off “will also continue to provide PWDs with requirements to work effectively in a conducive environment.”
“The launch is expected to provide the aggregated data of PWDs in the civil service, in order to enable the service welfare to design a programme that tackles the challenges.
“To create more opportunities for PWDs to get into job and full range effective service, sustainable change will be realised when all concerned are empowered,” she said.
She also announced that her officer had formed a partnership with The Albino Foundation for the pilot project to tackle the project.
In his presentation, the president and founder of The Albino Foundation, Mr. Jake Ekpelle, said the project was funded by the Australian Embassy High Commission in Nigeria, the European Union, among others.
He said the survey had already been carried in six states of Nigeria.
For his part, the secretary to government of the federation, Mr. Boss Mustafa cited various negative, hostile social environments, physical obstacles, inaccessibility, and absence of adaptive communication technology and mobility constraints facing PWDs.
He made a case for equality of PWDs to realise their potential and contribute their quota to national development.