The Executive Secretary of the National Commission for Persons with Disabilities (NCPWD), Mr. James Lalu, has issued a warning to seal off any facilities that fail to adhere to the commission’s accessibility laws.
Lalu emphasized that Nigerian law mandates organizations and business establishments to ensure their premises are accessible to individuals with disabilities. He stated that failure to comply with these regulations empowers the commission to take legal action, including sealing off non-compliant facilities through law enforcement agencies.
Lalu made these remarks on Wednesday during a meeting in Abuja when he received Prof. Fatima Waziri-Azi, the Director-General of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP).
He stressed that compliance with accessibility laws is no longer optional, and the commission is committed to enforcing them. Although the law provides for a transition period of five years, running from January 2019 to January 2024, Lalu emphasized that by January 2024, every public building in Nigeria must adhere to national accessibility regulations. Any facility falling short of compliance will face legal consequences.
Lalu acknowledged NAPTIP as a crucial partner in achieving equal opportunities for people with disabilities in Nigeria. He praised NAPTIP’s efforts in making policy documents accessible to the blind through assistive devices and commended the agency’s commitment to ensuring access to justice for the disability community.
In response, Prof. Waziri-Azi highlighted NAPTIP’s deliberate efforts to promote disability inclusion. She emphasized the agency’s commitment to integrating disability-related issues into its daily operations and across its strategic initiatives.
Waziri-Azi also reported that NAPTIP had already made its facilities accessible to individuals with disabilities over the past five years and had allocated five percent of employment opportunities within the agency to people with disabilities. She assured the NCPWD of NAPTIP’s readiness for a partnership that would benefit both organizations.
During the event, official documents, including the NAPTIP Red Card, NAPTIP Act, and NAPTIP Violence against Persons Prohibition Act, were presented. Notably, these documents were converted into accessible formats for the blind community in Nigeria.
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