From Okwe Obi, Abuja
The Federal Government has issued a stern warning against the marginalisation of persons with special needs, stressing that it would not hesitate to clamp down on discriminatory practices.
The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar Farouq, gave the warning at a capacity building and training workshop on activities for independent daily living yesterday in Bauchi State.
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In a statement by the Principal Information Officer, Grace Osuji, the minister urged stakeholders, government and non-governmental organisations to improve access to public facilities to enable persons with disabilities to participate more actively in social activities.
Represented by the Director of Special Needs, Nkechi Onwukwe, the minister stated that ‘the public must change attitudes towards Persons with Disabilities especially the visually impaired by promoting interventions that could enhance independent living for the development of healthy self-esteem.’
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The minister stated that, at end of the training, participants would be more empowered, confident and independent in performing their everyday tasks of in-house activities social interactions as well as making informed choices that are crucial to their lives.
‘The Federal Government through the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and other Agencies of Government will continue to develop and implement policies and programmes that will impact positively on the lives of the most vulnerable Nigerians.
‘The establishment of the National Commission for Persons with Disabilities by the present administration is an indication of how committed the Federal Government of President Muhammadu Buhari is tackling the most challenging issues of disabilities in Nigeria,’ the minister stated.