From Yakubu Mustapha, Minna
Persons Living with Disability in Niger State organized themselves in a peaceful protest against what they described as shortchanging and neglect of their members in the ongoing Special Public Workers Scheme of the Federal Government.
The Chairman of Niger state, Joint National Association of Persons with Disability, Isah Abdullahi stated this when he led other members to the Secretariat of the Nigerian Union of Journalists, Niger Council.
He however, lamented that despite the directive by the federal government that at least five percent slots be given to PLWD, only 0.4 percent was allocated to them in the state and called for its immediate reversal for fairness.
Abdullahi explained that their association had earlier forwarded names of 50 members from each of the 25 local government areas of the state to the National Directorate of Employment, which totalled one thousand two hundred and fifty.
He expressed disappointment that when the list of shortlisted persons were released, only two local government areas had considered persons with disability, giving them only one hundred slots as against the one thousand two hundred and twenty-five names earlier sent.
According to him out of the twenty-five thousand slots given to Niger state, only one hundred persons with disability have been captured.
He lamented that persons with disability have been abandoned by the government at all levels, and are not being carried along in government’s policies.
“We are vulnerable persons. In fact, if there is anybody that should benefit more from any empowerment policy of government, it should be persons with disability. Because, we are more vulnerable to poverty and disaster,” he stated.
He appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to come to the aid of persons with disability and ensure that their slot is given to them accordingly.
Apparently, the SPW scheme is expected to provide empowerment to 774,000 Nigerians, 1,000 each from the 774 local government areas across the country with at least 25,000 persons in Niger State are expected to benefit from the programme.