In pursuit of its policy of inclusivity, the Federal Government has launched Disability Inclusion Government’s Connect in Lagos State aimed at giving People With Disability (PWDs) in society a sense of belonging.
In his address at the event which took place today at the Secretariat, Alausa, Governor Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu said the State decided to key into the initiative as an additional step towards implementing the Social Inclusion in the THEMES Plus Agenda of the present administration.
Governor Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu, who was represented by Honourable Commissioner for Youth and Social Development, Mr. Mobolaji Ogunlende stated that the initiative which is the brainchild of the Federal Government aimed at bringing other states in the nation on board in terms of inclusive governance was already being implemented in the State.
According to him, it was the policy that led to the creation of the Lagos State Office for Disability Affairs (LASODA) as an agency to cater to the PWDs.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Special Needs and Equal Opportunities, Hon. Mohammed Abba Issa, represented by his Chief of Staff, Barrister Yusuf Iyodo said, “President Bola Ahmed Tinubu tasked us to work closely with subnational authorities to build a national consensus on PWD – friendly policy and environmental conditions. It is part of our strategic action plan to forge a national/presidential partnership with the government of Lagos State on Disability Inclusion matters”.
Hon Mohammed, who urged Lagos State to be an ambassador for the programme, disclosed that it was conceived “To connect with Governors, raise awareness on disability issues, facilitate their compliance with disability norms, provide technical support for the process, rate and induct compliant Governors into the Disability Hall of Fame, and to continue the monitoring of compliance”.
Similarly, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Youth and Social Development Pharm (Mrs.) Toyin Oke-Osanyintolu said that the Ministry had already given PWDs their pride of place in the policies and programmes being implemented.
She said, “As a Ministry, we always ensure that the PWDs enjoy fair representation in all that we do. We believe strongly in social inclusion. They must not be discriminated against”.
On her part, the General Manager, Lagos State Office for Disability Affairs (LASODA) Mrs. Adenike Oyetunde-Lawal said that the administration of Governor Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu has championed the cause of the PWDs by ensuring over 400 of them are absorbed into the State Civil Service as well as being given fair share in health and educational sectors.
The General Manager also disclosed that the Agency had concluded plans to go fully digital in its operations and also build a reliable database to capture all the PWD residents in Lagos.