BudgIT, a leading civic transparency group, has called on five state governments to take immediate measures to improve the lives of people with disabilities in their states.
Currently, BudgIT is implementing a project through the use of Tracka (a service delivery platform) to monitor projects that concern people with disability in Anambra, Lagos, Kano, Edo and Adamawa states. Our advocacy through Tracka is aimed at the respective state government to give more priority to these people living in the five states covered by the project.
The Tracka team visited several school projects in the five states including, the school for the deaf, Kuje, Abuja, the school for children with special needs, Kuje, Abuja. Special Needs School for Handicapped Children, Auchi, Edo State, the School of Deaf and Dumb in Benin City, Edo State, School for the Blind in Benin City, Edo State, Dawakin Kudu Vocational and Rehabilitation Centre, Kano State, Special School for Deaf and Dumb, St Andrew Anglican Church, Onitsha Anambra State and Basden Memorial Special Education Centre.
According to Project Manager Henry Omokhaye, “state governments should consider that those living with disabilities should be well represented and also part of the social and political administration. All people were born equal and urged them to harness their abilities despite the challenges.”
Our findings from our tracking activities in the above five states reveal the dilapidated state of the facilities for the people living with disabilities in Nigeria, especially the lack of basic amenities in the schools. According to a recent report from Dr Samuel Ankeli, the Special Adviser (SA) to President Muhammadu Buhari on Disability, 25 million Nigerians are living with disabilities. It is disheartening to note that until now, disability centres are not considered as important for government intervention despite the hardship persons with disabilities face trying to cope and thrive in our environment.
We believe state governments should support those with disabilities rather than sympathizing with them, remember that in most schools, people study special education, so we should encourage the state government to put more funds into special education. BudgIT also appealed to other stakeholders to take drastic measures that cater to people with special needs.
BudgIT calls on the governments of Lagos, Adamawa, Edo, Anambra and Kano states to immediately prioritize the issue of persons living with disabilities by providing budgetary allocations to the disability centres in each state. The Tracka project was in collaboration with the British Council and the European Union focus on Rule of law and Anti-corruption (ROLAC) programme in Nigeria.