The senate yesterday passed a bill which seeks to ensure full integration of persons with disabilities into the society even as the sponsor Senator Nurudeen Abatemi-Usman applauded his colleagues for its passage.
The bill also provides for the establishment of a national commission for disabled people to cater for their education, healthcare and protection of their social, economic and civil rights.after considering the report of the joint committee on Sports and Social Development and Women Affairs and Youth Development.
The Sponsor of the bill, Senator Abatemi-Usman in a statement signed by Mr. Michael Jegede, his Special Assistant on media and publicity, assured that when eventually signed into law by President Goodluck Jonathan, it will go a long way in ameliorating the sufferings of the over 22.5 million Nigerians that are disabled.
“I thank my colleagues (fellow Senators) for deeming it appropriate to pass this very important bill meant to make people living with disabilities in the country have a sense of belonging. I must say that I feel fulfilled seeing this bill passed on the floor of the Senate after due consideration of its items and consequent recommendations by the joint committee. I have explicit confidence that President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan will not hesitate to sign the bill into law. I see him to be one man who is very much concerned about the plight of the disabled,” Abatemi-Usman who is the Vice Chairman of Senate Committee on Niger Delta Affairs remarked.
In the report of the joint committee signed by its Chairman, Senator Adamu Gumba and Clerk, Mr. Yakubu Mohammed, it was noted that “Over ten percent of the Nigerian population is said to be disabled by sheer providence or accident and these people are daily confronted with several challenges, prominent among which is gross marginalization occasioned by discrimination on the basis of their infirmity. Therefore, one would agree that without necessary legislation, the challenges that this set of people encounter would be difficult to overcome. This bill seeks to form a legal protection against any sort of discrimination they may suffer, either directly or indirectly.”