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HomeNewsIDPD 2023: SSAP Hon. Abba Isa pushes for inclusive 2024 budget.

IDPD 2023: SSAP Hon. Abba Isa pushes for inclusive 2024 budget.

Senior Special Assistant to the President on Special Needs and Equal Opportunities, Hon. Mohammed Abba Isa, has called on the national assembly to ensure the 2024 Appropriation Act is an all-inclusive one.

Senior Special Assistant to the President on Special Needs and Equal Opportunities, Hon. Mohammed Abba Isa,
Hon. Mohammed Abba Isa, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Special Needs and Equal Opportunities.

Hon. Abba Isa made the call Monday, December 4, 2023, at an event to mark the 2023 International Day of Persons With Disabilities (IDPD) organized by The Albino Foundation (TAF) Africa, with support from European Union.

The Presidential aide submitted that any budget that failed to capture the concerns of Persons With Disabilities will create an under-funding gap which might hinder the performance of disability stakeholders from achieving most of their programmes outlined for next year.

The SSA to the president also raised concern over the unavailability of disaggregated data of PWDs, stressing that having a comprehensive social safety register is at the base of proper policy planning and implementation for the PWDs.

“One of our major targets is inclusive budgeting and the office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Special Needs and Equal Opportunities is working in collaboration with the office of the Chairman House Committee on Disabilty and the National Commission for Persons With Disabilities (NCPWD) to make sure that the 2024 Budget is inclusive.

“This is necessary because if we are not included in the budget, we will be confronted with the problem of under-funding and most of our projects are not going to be achievable.

“Another area of concern is the issue of data disaggregation. Data is very important for policies planning and implementation and monitoring. Everywhere we go, we are being asked about the data of the PWDs. We are not saying that the social safety register is not good enough or not inclusive but if you look at it critically, it doesn’t capture all PWDs,” the SSAP noted.

The aide to Mr President charged all PWD organizations and stakeholders on the need to take up this challenge to ensure that there is comprehensive data for PWDs.

He said: “In line with the theme of this year’s international Disabilty day which calls for unification of efforts, all leaders and stakeholders must unify effort to ensure that we have a comprehensive disaggregated data of PWDs.

“The government of the day is 100 percent committed to issues of disablity and have given us the mandate and all necessary backings. Recently, the President signed the AU Charter on the rights of PWDs, in line with the United Nations convention on the rights of Persons With Disabilities.

“The president in his wisdom appointed me as SSA to monitor, supervise and advice him on the activities of the MDAs, development partners and donor agencies to see if they are working in compliance with the directive for inclusion of disability matters in their policies so as to ensure that inclusive governance is achieved.

“By creating this office, the President has demonstrated his commitment that PWDs will be recognized and accommodated in the policies of his administration.

“My role is specifically to liaise, collaborate and partner with MDAs and subnational governments to make sure they mainstream PWDs matters into their policies and programs.”

Speaking on the expiration of the five-year transition window and implementation of the Discrimination Against Persons With Disabilities (Prohibition) Act 2018, Hon. Abba Isa stated that his office has marshalled a robust strategic implementation plan which will be unfolded in days to come.

“We have marshalled out strategic plan and by next year, my office in collaboration with the chairman of house Committee on Disabilty is going to launch a presidential joint task team that will serve as watchdog to ensure that each MDAs has a desk officer on Disability. The role of this task team is to ensure full compliance and implementation of the Disability Act.

“On the issue of 5 percent affirmative action which states that five percent of all employments in MDAs must go to PWDs, we intend to achieve this by enforcing compliance. For instance, if the federal ministry of youth have 1000 jobs, we must conduct an assessment to ascertain that what we get is exactly 5 percent of the 1000 jobs,” he stressed.

The SSA to Mr President appreciated the founder and Executive Director of TAF Africa, Dr. Jake Epelle for the good job they are doing, and called on all other organizations to emulate and support the humanitarian cause.

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