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Group seeks partnership with NOA for implementation of Anambra Disability Law

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THE Joint National  Association  of Persons With  Disabilities (PWDs), Anambra State Chapter, is to  partner the National Orientation Agency (NOA), Anambra State, in the agency’s  statewide awareness  creation for  implementation of the  Anambra State  Disability Law (ASDRL) 2018.

 The state  chairman of the  association, Ugochukwu  Okeke, disclosed this  when  he  led members of  management  team  of the  association on advocacy visit to the  state  Director, National Orientation  Agency (NOA), Charles Nwoji, at  his  office  in Awka.

 Okeke, who  said that the  advocacy visit  was  equally focusing  on making  provisions  to  including PWDs in   NOA’s public  enlightenment  programmes at the  grassroots so that  they could  talk  on the disability  issues, maintained that  Anambra  State  House  of  Assembly has on September 13, 2018, passed  Disability  Rights  Bill and was assented to by  Anambra State  Governor on December 18 the  same year.

  According to him, “the  Joint National  Association of  Persons  With Disabilities, Anambra State Chapter, in collaboration with  European Union (EU), is  currently embarking on a massive advocacy visit to  government  ministries, departments and  agencies in the state for  awareness  creation on implementation of  the  Anambra State Disability Rights  Law 2018”.

The PWDs’ boss explained that  Anambra is the  first state in the  South-East that has joined the  league of the  few  states in the  federation  that  have enacted a law  to protect the  rights  of the PWDs  in Nigeria, stressing the need  for  provision of  facilities, especially  construction of  ramps in  both  public and private  offices in the state  for  easy access of those offices  by the  PWDs as  provided  in the  Anambra State Disability  Rights  Law, Section  23, subsection 1.

 While appreciating the  NOA director  for  his  immense  contributions to the  development of the  state through  his unflinching  commitment on the  issues that  concern the  PWDs in the state,  Okeke noted that the  association has existed for  over a  decade in the state,  appealing to both  state and local  governments, as well as the  civil  society  organisations in the state to  always  support the promotion of the welfare of the PWDs in their  scheme of  affairs.

He further called on the  leadership of NOA  in the state to always encourage people, especially   the  government  workers  at  all levels to  form  the habit of  learning the  basic use  of   sign  language and  the  disability  etiquettes indoor to  facilitate  easy  communication  in  a forum.

 Receiving the  team, the state  Director, NOA, Charles Nwoji, extolled the  boldness  of the  association and  assured  them  that  NOA would  attend to their demands with  particular reference to  introduction of  sign language  into the  routine  programmes of the  agency for better understanding of the  programmes  by the  participants.

  Nwoji  maintained that the  field  officers of the  agency  would be  given an intensive training on sign  language and  disability etiquettes with  a view to  making  their  programmes people-oriented and  as  well  serve  the  less privileged in  society more  better.

  The NOA director emphatically expressed worry and displeasure over people’s negligence in attaching ramps on buildings, describing the act as insensitive and unlawful. “When you mentioned the building of ramps, it occurred to me the very important aspect of building individual houses, government establishments don’t even have. I know that attaching ramp in a building is a law in Nigeria; in federal secretariat, Abuja, there is a ramp for wheelchairs up to the highest floor. Sometimes, some people nonchalantly ask, ‘why is this (ramp) attached here?’ they can’t understand this until they join the fold of the people that need it.”

 Assuring the association of NOA’s  assistance in every ramification,  he  advised them to  equally  approach Anambra State Association of Town  UnionS (ASATU) with  their  demands, saying that ASATU has  what  it  takes  to  further make  lives and welfare of the PWDs  worthwhile.

In her remarks, the Information Officer of the association, Miss.  Chidimma  Ajemba, said that   NOA had  impacted greatly on  society  through its  human-oriented  programmes and  appreciated the  leadership  of the  agency for granting them an opportunity for the  event.

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