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Persons with disability in Niger State lament shortchange in SPW Scheme

NIGER, Nigeria – Persons Living with Disability PLWD, in Niger State, have decried the poor treatment of its members in the ongoing Special Public Workers, SPW Scheme of the Federal Government in the state.

The chairman of the Joint National Association of Persons with Disability in Niger State, Isah Abdullahi who led a protest to the Secretariat of the Nigerian Union of Journalists in Minna, said members of the association have been shortchanged in the SPW program.

The SPW program is expected to provide empowerment to 774,000 Nigerians, 1,000 each from the 774 local government councils across the Nation

He lamented that despite the directive by the federal government that at least 5% slots should be given to PLwDs, only 0.4 percent has been allocated to them.

Abdullahi explained that 50 names of members from each of the 25 local government areas of the state were sent to the National Directorate of Employment, NDE, totalling 1,250.”

He explained that “when the list of shortlisted persons were released, only two local government areas were considered giving us only 100 slots as against the 1,250 names earlier sent to the NDE.

He lamented that out of the 25,000 slots allocated to Niger State, only 100 persons with disability have been captured in the scheme.

“In fact, Persons with Disability have been abandoned by the government at all levels, and are not being carried along in government’s policies. If there is anybody, that should benefit more from any empowerment policy of the government, it should be Persons with Disability, because, we are more vulnerable to poverty and disaster.”

The state Chairman, however, called on President Muhammadu Buhari to come to the aid of members of the association to help address the anomaly.

Niger state currently has over three hundred thousand persons living with disability as at the last census in Nigeria.

Out of that figure, at least twenty percent are said to be beggars on the streets.

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