The Centre for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD) has applauded President Muhammadu Buhari for appointing Executive Secretary, Chairman and board members of the new National Commission for Persons with Disabilities (NCPWD).

The Executive Director of CCD, Mr David Anyaele, gave the commendation in a statement issued to newsmen in Enugu on Tuesday.

According to Anyaele, we welcome with rejoicing the news of the approval of the composition of the Governing Council and appointment of Executive Secretary of NCPWD in-line with the provisions of Discrimination Against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Act, 2018 by President Buhari.

He said that “the approval of this list of Board members of the NCPWD is a clear statement that the Federal Government has commenced full implementation of the Discrimination against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Act, 2018 also known as the National Disability Act’’.

The executive secretary said that the approval of the composition of the Governing Council, Executive Secretary, and subsequent dispatch to the National Assembly for screening is in fulfillment of section 33.3. of the National Disability Act.

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He noted that the Act provided that the Chairman of the Council and one representative each from the six geo-political zones shall be appointed by the President subject to the confirmation of the Senate.

“We say a BIG THANK YOU to President Buhari for taking this bold step in the implementation of this Act through the approval of the composition of the leadership of the new Commission.

“We call the President Buhari to take appropriate measure to ensure that the budget of the NCPWD (new Commission) features in the 2021 appropriation to avoid financial hiccups in the take off the new Commission.

“We are approaching the last quarter of 2020. Without proper budgetary appropriation for the takeoff this new Commission, the approval of the composition of the Governing Council may turn to a waste of time and energy.

“We call on the members of the NCPWD Board to take advantage of this office to ensure the full implementation of the National Disability Act by all Nigerians both in public and private sectors, as the time to change disability narratives in Nigeria has come.

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“We also call on all organisations of, and for persons with disabilities, development partners and the private sector to support the takeoff of this Commission as this is the first time Nigeria is implementing a law that protects its citizens with disabilities from discrimination and other harmful practices.

“We wish to assure the leadership and members of the Board of the new Commission of CCD’s commitment towards providing technical and other supports to ensure the attainment of the mandates of the Commission.

“We are grateful to all our partners for their support to this campaign for the full implementation of the National Disability Act through the new NCPWD, in particular, our friends from the media for their solidarity in this struggle,’’ he said.

NAN recalls that the presidency on Monday gave the names, designations and geo-political zones of members of the board of the commission and executive secretary as:

Dr Hussaini Suleiman Kangiwa – Chairman – North West
Oparaku Onyejelam Jaja – Member – South East
Philomena Isioma Konwea – Member – South South
Omopariola Busuyi Oluwasola – Member – South West
Amina Rahma Audu – Member – North West
Mrs Esther Andrew Awu – Member – North Central
Abba Audu Ibrahim – Member – North East
James David Lalu – Executive Secretary – North Central

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