By Florence Onuegbu
Lagos, Dec. 30, 2020 The Lagos State Government says it has earmarked N500 million in its 2021 budget as Disability Fund.
Gov. Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu made this known at Lagos House, Marina, on Wednesday during an Interactive Session with People Living With Disabilities (PLWDs).
Sanwo-Olu said that the fund would help to cater for the necessities to make life more meaningful for the PLWDs.
“You have spoken your mind, you have corrected us as government where you think we have not done well, you have commended where you think we have done so very well.
“You have also admonished us, you have encouraged us, you have said to us all of the things you believe we can do very quickly that can make life a lot better for you.
“Listening to you has enriched us, has given us better understanding of where we need to improve our relationship and all of the access you have with us.
“I have ensured that the budget for next year that the House has just approved, we have earmarked N500 million for the disability fund.
“We will sit with the Ministry of Youth and Social Development the moment we enter into the new year and we will agree with you in what area we should apply those funds into,´´ he said.
The governor said that he would have discussion with the Commissioner for Health on implementation of COVID-19 free test for People Living With Disabilities
On the request by PLWDs for the appointment of a Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Disability during the interactive session, Sanwo-Olu promised to look into it.
Sanwo-Olu also said that he would meet with the Local Government Chairmen to discuss the plight of the PLWDs.
He called on the private sector to collaborate in providing a conducive working environment for people with special abilities.
“We need to let the private sector know that they need to consider the people living with disabilities in all that they are doing, in buildings and in infrastructure development,´´ Sanwo-Olu said.
The governor presented the PLWDs with 50 wheel chairs, 75 white canes, 69 crutches, 179 walking sticks, among others.
Mr Olusegun Dawodu, the Commissioner for Youth and Social Development, said that the purpose of the session was to learn from one another.
The Chairman, National Association of the Blind, Lagos Branch, Mr Babatunde Mohammed, stressed the need for job creation for the blind, so as to enable them to earn a living.
He called on the government to create an enabling environment for them to thrive.
Mohammed also called for technology-driven teaching aids, empowerment, health care services, disability fund, among others to be put in place, to make their lives a lot better.