The Lagos State Government has disclosed that it has provided direct employment to 250 persons living with disabilities in the last one year to the mainstream civil service and local governments respectively.
The Commissioner for Youth and Social Development, Mr. Agboola Dabiri made this known today at the ongoing Y2018 Ministerial Press Briefing at the Bagauda Kaltho Press Centre, Secretariat, Alausa in commemoration of the third year in office of Governor Ambode’s administration.
He said that the employment opportunities given to this category of people had greatly assisted in ameliorating their standard of living and making them more financially independent.
Dabiri stated that the gesture by the State Government was in line with the government of inclusion being championed by the present administration under Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode.
According to the Commissioner, the Ministry developed, launched and reproduced the Braille version of Lagos State Youth Policy and circulated it to the Association of Visually Impaired Persons in the State to keep them abreast of programmes and policies of the State Government.
Speaking further on the other interventions of the State government, the Commissioner informed that the Ministry, through Lagos State Disability Trust Fund initiated by the present administration, disbursed different empowerment tools and financial grants to hundreds of PWDs in a very transparent manner.
He said: “During the first phase of the implementation of the Disability Fund, Grants of N100,000.00 (One hundred thousand Naira) each was given to 500 PWDs of different clusters with entrepreneurial skills in order to make them economically independent and consequently reduce the problem of unemployment amongst PWD to the barest minimum”.
Assistive devices like wheelchairs, white canes, magic boards, magnetic boards, Lap Tops, Index Express Braille Embosser with Duxbury Braille Translation Software, Accessible Desktop Computers (with Jaw Screen Reader), Tactile Metric Set, Taylor Frame, Special Wheelchairs (Rough Rider) for People with Spinal Cord Injury were also distributed to various Homes/Inclusive Schools, Clusters of PWDs”, he added.
He promised that the State government will continue to integrate Persons Living with Disabilities into the society through the principle of social inclusion and increased public awareness of the challenges being faced by PWDs.
In his own remark, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Mr. Hakeem Muri-Okunola disclosed that the rate at which babies are abandoned indiscriminately in the State has greatly reduced because the present administration invested highly in economic empowerment, social inclusion and public enlightenment to dissuade people from dumping infants.
According to him, “Majority of Lagosians are now better enlightened and would opt for having their babies in one of the Government Approved Homes for Care and Protection instead of just abandoning newborns in public places or by the roadsides”.
Muri-Okunola, however, used the occasion to solicit for public support, cooperation and understanding for the social workers of the Ministry when carrying out their official duties across the State, stressing that the officials are always acting in the best interest of the public.
“We have observed over time that officials of the Ministry usually encounter great resistance in the course of carrying out their official duties like rescuing destitute and abandoned babies and many more. Members of the public should not shield perpetrators of social vices within their neighbourhood, they should instead bring such to the attention of the Ministry”, the Permanent Secretary stated.