The Centre for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD) has trained no fewer than 70 officials of the National Orientation Agency (NOA) on the National Disability Act 2018. The training which took place at the Headquarter of the NOA had in attendance the Director General, National Orientation Agency, Dr. Garba Abari, Directors of the Agency from the 36 States of the Federation and their partners.
The Objectives of the training include to expose NOA officers to the provisions of the National Disability Act 2018, scale up the role of NOA and other partners to advocate and promote full implementation of the National Disability Act 2018, and strengthen the partnership between NOA, CCD and other partners.
While welcoming participants at the event, NOA DG, Dr. Abari said that the purpose of the training is to expose National Orientation Agency Officers to the provisions of the National Disability Act 2018 and scale up the specific roles of the Agency and Partners in ensuring the full implementation of the Act.
The DG, NOA stated that “It is necessary to observe that the National Disability Act 2018 was birthed as an intervention to the various unmet critical needs of People with Disabilities (PWDs) in Nigeria”
Dr. Abari commended the network of People with Disabilities particularly, Centre for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD), the National Assembly and other relevant supportive organizations for all the rigorous effort of sponsorship and legislation, as well as President Muhammadu Buhari, for accenting to Bill”.
The NOA Boss thanked CCD for believing in the power of the NOA structure by initiating this partnership as well as providing technical and financial support for this capacity building programme. He promised to use NOA structure and strength to mainstream disability issues in their programmes and activities while urging their partners to do the same.
In his opening remark, the Executive Director, Centre for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD) Mr. David O. Anyaele praised the leadership of National Orientation Agency for the approval of the training program and for partnership with CCD to raise awareness on the provisions of the National Disability Act.
According to him, “the choice of partnering with NOA was based on the formidable structure of the agency with its offices across the 774 Local Government Areas of the Federation. Therefore, securing NOA is the surest way of reaching out to all the localities of Nigerian with the knowledge of the National Disability Act.”
In her presentation on Understanding the NOA Mandate and Communication Strategies, the Director Public Enlightenment and Mass Mobilization (PEMM) Mrs. Ruth Ogun says NOA, in planning and executing activities, they have specific strategies that they look at to ensure that they are passing on their messages.
This, according to Mrs. Ogun entails Monitoring and Evaluation, engage with communities to ensure that they understand the message, policy, program, and activities as well as to respond by changing behavior. Mrs. Ogun thanked the leadership of CCD for making NOA worthy of partnership and to amplify the National Disability Act 2018.
Prof. Mutiullah Adebayo Olasupo, Director Sultan Maccido Institute Of Peace, Leadership And Development Studies, and resource person at the event said that People with disabilities in Nigeria7 face physical as well as attitudinal barriers to employment. According to Prof. Olasupo, having a good education does not guarantee employment for people with disabilities.
“Negative attitudes and misconceptions about capacity and productivity can act as barriers. The new Disabilities Act (2018) addresses discrimination of persons with disabilities with regards to employment, but it is not yet clear how this law will be enforced and how effective it will be.” Prof. Olasupo said.