Mr. James Lalu, the Executive Secretary of the National Commission for Persons With Disabilities (NCPWD), has stated that there are currently 35.1 million Nigerians living with disabilities. This information was disclosed during a one-day event held in Owerri, specifically focused on issuing permanent certificates to individuals with disabilities in the southeast region.
Represented by Mr. Ikem Uchegbulam, the commission’s acting Director for Compliance and Enforcement, Mr. Lalu referenced a World Health Organization (WHO) report to support this statistic. The event aimed to educate individuals with disabilities about the advantages of certification, aligning with Section 28 of the Discrimination Against Persons With Disabilities Act.
Emphasizing the distinction between temporary and permanent disability certificates, Mr. Lalu explained that medical doctors can issue temporary certificates for short-term disabilities, whereas the NCPWD is responsible for issuing permanent disability certificates.
He highlighted that only individuals with valid disability certificates are eligible for benefits under the Act, underscoring the importance for all Persons With Disabilities (PWDs) to obtain certification.
“A recent WHO report estimates that about 35.1 million persons have disabilities in Nigeria, so, the commission is doing its best to ensure that they have access to all their rights as enshrined in the constitution.”
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