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Reps may fine banks for not providing access facilities for PWDs, says Bello el-Rufai

house of representatives house of representatives
The house of representatives

Bello el-Rufai, chairman of the house committee on banking regulations, says financial institutions that fail to provide accessibility-friendly facilities for people with disabilities (PWDs) risk being fined. 

El-Rufai spoke on Tuesday in Abuja at a multi-stakeholder forum on disability and inclusive governance in Nigeria.

The lawmaker, who expressed displeasure over the non-enforcement of the Disability Act, said banks need to quickly put in place disability-friendly facilities such as ramps, rails, special toilets, and others.

He assured stakeholders of the support of his committee for the proposed amendment to the Disability Act, noting that over 30 million Nigerian PWDs should be treated well.

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Bashiru Dawodu, the chairman of the house committee on disability matters, said it is worrisome that PWDs in the country lack access to education, and employment opportunities and have to deal with discriminatory practices.

Dawodu said three bills are being considered by the house to address the problems, adding that his committee will provide measures meant to enforce the Act signed into law in 2015 by former President Muhammadu Buhari.

Amos Magaji, the chairman of the house committee on health institutions, expressed dissatisfaction over the absence of facilities needed by PWDs to access medical care.

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Julius Ihonvbere, the house majority leader, who described the speaker Tajudeen Abbas-led house of representatives as the most friendly chamber to PWDs, emphasised the need for public sensitisation to issues relating to the inclusion of PWDs in governance.

Christian Agbo, the co-chairman of the Accelerated Disability Inclusion in Emergencies (ADIE), called on governments at all levels to provide accessible transportation and free transport vouchers, a stand-alone social welfare programme for PWDs, including food banks and financial assistance.

He proposed an amendment to the Disability Act to make it compulsory for 10 percent of the social intervention programmes of all federal ministries, departments, and agencies (MDAs) to be allocated to PWDs.

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