Senate Demand President’s Assent On Disability Bill

Channels Television  
Updated February 5, 2013

Three times after the Disability Bill was sent to the presidency for assent, the bill is yet to be signed into law.

The bill made its way back to the Senate on Tuesday and the lawmakers have asked the President to sign the bill into law when it gets back to him.

Sponsor of the bill, Senator Usman Abatemi said the bill would be a major milestone in the lives of people with disabilities as it seeks to check all forms of discrimination against them and put measures in place to address their condition.

The lawmaker noted that the nation’s infrastructure across the country does not cater for physically challenged people, noting that the physically challenged cannot climb stairs or enter public buildings or board commercial vehicles at bus terminals.

Hence, his move in sponsoring the bill which seeks to ensure full integration of persons with disabilities into the society.

The Senate Chief Whip, Senator Bello Gwarzo, who is physically challenged, knows first-hand the difficulties physically challenged people experience in Nigeria.

He also expressed his worry about the perception of the presidency not to be taking the bill on persons with disabilities seriously.

The Deputy Senate President, Senator Eke Ekeweremadu in his debate, pointed out that the Constitution does not make any provision to take care of the disabled.

But law makers say in the interim something needs to be done to address the challenges faced by people with disabilities while the process of amending the Constitution is going on.

When passed to law, the bill is expected to address these challenges, but that is only if the President assents to it.