By Wisdom Deji-Folutile
The Federal Government has threatened to take legal action against airlines and other operators, who fail to comply with the laws concerning persons living with disabilities in Nigeria.
Executive Secretary of the National Commission for Persons with Disabilities, James Lalu, made the disclosure in Abuja on Tuesday at an investigative hearing organised by the House of Representatives Committee on Disabilities.
He said, “Sincerely speaking, for us in the disability community and the National Disability Commission, we find this act by this airline completely disappointing. To discriminate against a PWD, you must have that very strong negative perception towards PWDs before you could be able to do that.
“We see this as something of national interest, and we thank the committee for raising this. The right of PWDs today in Nigeria is non-negotiable. We are here as a commission to defend this right. Therefore, when we receive some of these complaints, we try to look into these policies that most of these airlines continue to sign. The policies remain worrisome to us as a disability community.
“We want to bring to their notice that the existence of the Discrimination Against Persons with Disability (Prohibition) Act already criminalises any form of discrimination of towards persons with disabilities in totality.
“The commission had been engaging with the aviation ministry on how to address the issue of policies being introduced by airlines which lead to abuse of the law.”
NCPWD revealed that it was already in talks with the Ministers of Aviation, Hadi Sirika; Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola; and the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation engaged in constructing new airport terminals across the country.