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RoLAC informs relevant stakeholders on the implementation of the 2023 PWD (accessibility) regulations

May 15, 2024 • By Murkthar Suleiman
A cross section of participants from a persons with disabilities workshop held in Nigeria.

The National Commission for Persons with Disabilities (NCPWD), supported by the Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption (RoLAC) Programme, organised a two-day Sensitisation Workshop on the Persons with Disabilities (Accessibility) Regulations, 2023. 

The workshop comes on the heels of the passage of the Discrimination Against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Act on 17 January 2019, where Nigerian public institutions received the benefit of a five-year moratorium, a significant period during which they were expected to take all measures to comply with the provisions of the Act, including those provisions that would enable physical accessibility to public buildings for persons with disabilities. At the expiration of the moratorium on 16 January 2024, the RoLAC programme, in collaboration with the National Commission for Persons with Disabilities and civil society organizations, held a series of events and workshop to mark the shift from advocacy to compliance, monitoring and enforcement.

The workshop, a collaborative effort, aimed to inform heads of Disability Commissions and relevant agencies on the roll-out and enforcement of the new regulations and secure their commitment to its implementation at both national and sub-national levels in Nigeria. These regulations were developed by the NCPWD in line with Section 56 of the Discrimination Against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Act 2018 to provide essential guidelines and specify standards and codes for designing and constructing accessible built environments as well as measuring or auditing physical accessibility.

During the workshop, Honourable Akin Rotimi, Chairman of the House Committee on Media and Publicity, announced the approval for sign language interpreters during plenary sessions and public hearings at the National Assembly, a crucial step towards promoting access to information for deaf Nigerians. He also assured that disability inclusion would be a focal point in the constitutional review.

Honourable James Lalu, Executive Secretary of NCPWD, emphasised the need for collective efforts to create an inclusive society and mentioned ongoing discussions with the private sector to make their premises accessible. He announced plans to develop an employment portal for persons with disabilities and collaborate with the private sector to provide job opportunities. He also highlighted the NCPWD's work with the Nigeria Governors Forum to enact disability laws in states that have not yet domesticated them and improve the accessibility of public buildings.

An agreed action plan was developed at the workshop for sensitisation and enforcement of the regulations, and participants reviewed and agreed upon key performance indicators.

About the authors

Murkthar Suleiman
Communications Officer
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