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PWDs to FG: Prioritise Disability Inclusion to Meet SDGs’ 2030 Targets

The federal government and stakeholders have been advised by Persons with Disabilities to prioritise disability inclusion as a strategy to meet the Sustainable Development Goals 2030 targets.

They made the call at a one-day consultation on the mid-term review of disability inclusion in the implementation of SDGs, organised by an NGO, Sightsavers Nigeria, on Wednesday in Abuja.

The National President, Joint National Association of Persons with Disabilities, Dr. Abdullahi Usman, called for bridging disability gaps and promoting good governance to address them.

“It is important to note that building an inclusive society goes beyond preparing PWDs for the workspace or providing them with skills.

“We are appealing to all relevant stakeholders both in the public and private sector to accelerate action on the SDGs and ensure inclusion for PWDs.

“We all have equal rights to education, employment opportunities and health care, and the rights to have a say in the decisions that affect our lives,” he said.

Usman said Nigeria has an estimated of over 30 million PWDs, who are marginalised on the grounds of gender, poverty, age, or other factors.

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Sightsavers Country Advocacy Coordinator, Mrs. Esther Bature, said the forum was for PWD members in Nigeria to review the mid-term implementation of disability inclusion in the SDGs.

She explained that the upcoming SDG summit, as part of the United Nations General Assembly, scheduled for September 18 and 19, was an opportunity for the voices of PWDs in Nigeria to be heard.

Bature assured that their voices would be heard in the implementation of all-inclusive SDGs.

She said, “This is an extraordinary opportunity for the voices of PWDs to be heard in the highest echelon.

“So, we work with the JONAPWD to mobilise their members across the geopolitical zones, across disability clusters to come together and hold a consultation about the SDG implementation at the grassroots.

“This is to ensure that recommendations are made to our government so that when they go to the SDG Summit, they will make commitments that are inclusive.”

According to her, Sightsavers has collaborated with the Office of the Senior Special Adviser to the President on SDG in shadow reporting for the Voluntary National Review.

Meanwhile, the Deputy Director, of OSSAP-SDGs, Dr. Zakariya Mohammed, said the meeting was crucial for ensuring inclusion in the implementation of the SDGs for PWDs.