by Hauwa Gambo
Twenty percent of the 370,000 jobs that will be created nationwide this year under the public works programme of the Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Scheme (SURE) will go to vulnerable groups including persons living with disabilities.
Coordinating Minister of the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala disclosed this at an interactive forum with the leadership of the Joint National Association of Persons Living with Disabilities (JONAPWD), in Abuja, on Tuesday led by National President, Danlami Basharu.
According to the minister, the initiative is a product of President Goodluck Jonathan’s focus on empowering all willing and able Nigerians to contribute their quota to growing the country’s economy.
She directed the national coordinator of the public works segment of SURE to immediately incorporate persons living with disabilities into his programme and furnish her with progress report before a follow-up forum gets underway in six months’ time. “By seeing and incorporating you into the SURE Programme, nobody is doing you a favour. It is in the best interest of this country that everybody gets an opportunity to contribute to its development and the society loses by excluding you or any other segment,” the Minister assured them.
The Minister also promised to pass on to the appropriate quarters the request of the association for disability-friendly Mass Transit bus scheme run by persons with disabilities, as a way to ease their transportation problems and provide them employment.
The Minister promised to take up the implementation of aspects of the Disabilities Act with the relevant authorities to ensure that persons living with disabilities are properly integrated into the SURE Scheme in response to requests presented by the association.