By Diana Omueza, Abuja.
The Nigeria Police say they are working to meet the five-per-cent employment reservation for Persons with Disabilities (PWDs), in accordance with the provisions of the National Disability Law.
The Inspector-General of Police, Usman Alkali-Baba, said this on Thursday at the three-day Disability Stakeholders Forum, organised by the Centre for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD) in Abuja.
Alkali-Baba, who was represented by Deputy Commissioner of Police (Administration), Aina Adesola, said that the current administration of the police was disability-friendly and working to enhance police relations with the community in Nigeria.
“I am very sure that the present administration has done and is doing almost everything to make sure that there is a cordial relationship between the police and the disability community.
“There is a standing instruction in every command that the police act swiftly to the contacts from the disability community, especially with regards to complaints.
“And as regards employment of disabled people, it is relative and I am very sure that there are disabled people in the Nigeria Police, although they may not be in operations but in other departments because of the disability, which is relative.
“This is because we do not have to take them from all clusters of disabilities. However, there are many people with disabilities and the force is working to fully implement the five-per-cent empowerment reservation for PWDs,’’ he said.
Mrs Nkechi Nwakwocha, Director of Human Resources, Ministry of Aviation, said that the aviation ministry was working tirelessly to ensure the PWDs’ ease of access to airport facilities.
According to her, there are already existing structures in place at the airports that are very accessible to PWDs and others.
“There are steps, and we have smooth ramps to wheel those on wheelchairs.
“We have toilet facilities in places and special toilets for PWDs, and as a matter of fact, there are major facilities reconstruction going on in the various major airports in the country.
“All these things are done to ensure that PWDs don’t have problems in accessing or making movements around and within the airports,’’ she said.
Nwakwocha said that where a passenger with disabilities was being announced by the airline operators, the appropriate agents in the airport had been trained on how to aid them.
She said that there were also escalators and elevators to aid PWDs’ movements and to eliminate discrimination.
Nwakwocha added that the facilities in the Lagos, Abuja, Port-Harcourt and Kano airports were of international standard, while similar facilities would be replicated in other airports across the country.
She said that the arrangements for this project were underway and contracts had been awarded; adding that consequently, all airports in the country would be of international standard.
Mr David Anyaele, the Executive Director of CCD, called for more advocacy and partnerships to create more awareness on the national disability law and the state laws in the country.
He also called for an accurate enlightenment on the roles and mandates of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) with regard to their specific responsibilities.