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35.1 Million Nigerians Living With Disabilities

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – James Lalu, the Executive Secretary of the National Commission for Persons With Disabilities (NCPWD), disclosed that a staggering 35.1 million Nigerians are presently living with disabilities. 

The disclosure was made during a one-day program in Owerri on Friday, December 01, 2023, focusing on the issuance of permanent certificates to persons with disabilities in the southeast.

Represented by Ikem Uchegbulam, the acting Director of Compliance and Enforcement at NCPWD, Lalu cited a report from the World Health Organisation (WHO) as the basis for the alarming figure.

The event aimed to sensitise individuals with disabilities about the advantages of certification, aligning with Section 28 of the Discrimination Against Persons With Disabilities Act.

Uchegbulam explained the distinction between temporary and permanent disability certificates, emphasising that while medical doctors could issue temporary certificates for short-term disabilities, permanent certificates were the prerogative of the NCPWD.

Only those with valid disability certificates can avail themselves of remedies under the Act, highlighting the critical need for all Persons With Disabilities (PWDs) to obtain certification.

“In addition to serving as a means of identification, the Act has made the certificate a legal requirement for obtaining remedy from the law court, hence the need for possession of the certificate,” Lalu stated emphatically. He underscored the commission’s commitment to ensuring that persons with disabilities have access to all their constitutionally enshrined rights.

Acknowledging the NCPWD’s efforts, Nkechi Ugwu, the Imo Commissioner for Women Affairs and Vulnerable Groups, expressed gratitude during the event. She conveyed the Imo Government’s commitment to championing the cause of persons living with disabilities in the state.



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