Following the increasing discrimination against Persons with Disabilities by airline operator in Nigeria, the Centre for Citizens with Disabilities has called for the full implementation of the Discrimination against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Act 2018.
CCD’s demand was made known during a curtsey visit to the Minister of Aviation, Hon. Hadi Sirika.
CCD’s team, led by its Executive Director, David Anyaele requested that the Ministry of Aviation “speedily investigates the increasing human rights violations against citizens with disabilities by airline operators in Nigeria with the view of bringing perpetrators to book.
“Elimination of all forms of violence against citizens with disabilities at the airports through implementation of Section 1: a person with disability shall not be discriminated against on the ground of his disability by any person or institution in any manner or circumstance whatsoever.”
CCD also demand the full implementation of Section 14 of the Act which provides that “all airlines operating in Nigeria shall ensure the accessibility of their aircraft to persons with disabilities; make available presentable and functional wheelchairs for the conveyance of persons with disabilities who need it to and from the aircraft;
“Ensure that persons with disabilities are assisted to get on and off board in safety and reasonable comfort; ensure that persons with disabilities are accorded priority while boarding and disembarking from the aircraft.”
CCD stressed the need for “Accessible Airports, in line with the provisions of sections 4 and 5 of the Discrimination against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Act 2018, in particular mobile wheelchair lifters in all our airports across the Federation for easy access to and from aircraft, as more than 95% of the airports in Nigeria are not accessible to persons with disabilities.”
The Minister, Hon. Hadi Sirika in his response assured that he will ensure the availability of accessible facilities like; ramp, wheelchair and accessible toilets at the airports for easy access to persons with disabilities.
The Minister also noted that an audit would be conducted in the Ministry to ensure adequate compliance to the provision of the Act to ensure that 5% of the Staff capacity of the Ministry is reserved for citizens with disabilities.
Hon. Sirika thereafter commended CCD for its efforts in advancing issues of PWDs in the country.
Earlier during a curtsey visit to the Minister of Information, Hon. Lai Mohammed, CCD had asked that “the Nigeria Broadcasting Commission includes the use of Sign Language Interpreters in all television news as a policy of the State. This will serve as a direct commitment for the full implementation of the Act by the Ministry.