Senate to sanction MDAs refusing to employ disabled people

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By Okechukwu Jombo

Chief Whip of the Senate, Mohammed Ali Ndume, has revealed plans by the National Assembly to amend relevant laws establishing the National Commission for Persons with Disability, and melt sanctions against heads of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) who refuse to hire qualified disabled Nigerians.

He spoke on Wednesday when members of FCT Para-soccer Team honoured him with an award in Abuja.

The Borno South senator said disabled Nigerians who have the requisite qualifications should be allowed to get gainful employment in MDAs and rise to become senior servants.

The lawmaker who donated N1 million to support the team said he’ll use his connections to get more opportunities for disabled soccer players.

He said: “This is the Para-soccer team of the FCT. They want to honour me. We’ve been supporting people with disabilities. These people have families and they have made us proud. They’ve won laurels for Nigeria. This team was founded over 30 years ago.

“I want to donate N1 million to support FCT Para-soccer. I’ll arrange for you to meet the FCT Minister, Nyesom Wike. He will give you all the support.

“President Bola Ahmed Tinubu believes in his Renewed Hope Agenda. We’ll have the national event in a grandeur manner and all major political leaders will be there. We can arrange that this year. This year will be a year of Renewed Hope for every Nigerian.

“We’ll make it mandatory for every MDA of government to employ people with disabilities. They’ll be placed in offices and respected, become chief executives of such government agencies, and become permanent secretaries. We’ve had a disabled senator who was the Chief Whip.”

Misbahu Lawan Didi, Founder of Para-Soccer, who presented the award plaque, Ndume played a critical role in the passage of the Bill that established the Disability Commission in Nigeria.

He also revealed how Ndume reached to the disabled community during the COVID-19 pandemic and offered financial and materials assistance to them.

“Para-soccer game was founded in Nigeria. There are over 5,000 members across Nigeria. You’ve done more for the disability community than any other politician in Nigeria. You played a role in the establishment of the Disability Commission. During the COVID-19 pandemic, you reached out to many disabled people.

“You’ve given over 5,000 tricycles to disabled people. You’ve sponsored many of our events. We want other senators to copy what Ndume is doing for disabled people in Nigeria. They need to copy him,” he said.