Nasarawa State governor, Engineer Abdullahi Sule, has said his administration will continue to evolve measures to further integrate persons with disabilities into the larger society.
Engineer Sule stated this while marking this year’s World Disability Day, with the governor visiting the Lafia Special School, where he interacted with the students, on Friday.
This is just as the governor announced the appointment of two new aides on disabilities, Hadiza Kasimu and Umar Dahiru, who are both graduates of the university, as special assistant and personal assistant respectively.
He used the opportunity to highlight measures taken by his administration to integrate persons living with disabilities which includes free medical care, free education from primary school to tertiary level and a monthly stipend of N5000, through the Nasarawa State conditional cash transfer scheme mostly for persons with disabilities who have graduated but are unemployed.
While thanking his predecessor, Senator Umaru Tanko Al-makura, for concieving the idea and establishing the Lafia Special School, which is the first of its kind in the country, Engineer Sule said he was at the school to celebrate with the students, as well as support the principal of the school, for dedicating her life to bettering the lives of students living with disabilities.
According to the governor, a comprehensive medical centre has been established at the premises of the Special School, to cater for the medical needs of all persons living with disabilities from across the state free of charge.
He pointed out that his administration passed the child’s rights law in order to protect children, especially children with special needs.
Highlights of the event saw Engineer Sule unveiled a handbook on coronavirus, which aims at educating the people towards understanding more about the pandemic which has continued to pose a challenge across the world, especially with the emergence of the Omicron variant of the virus.
He disclosed that so far, Nasarawa State is leading other states in vaccination against the deadly pandemic, with Ogun State coming second.
Mrs Esther Andrew Awu, member representing the North Central geopolitical zone at the National Commission for Persons with Disabilities, appreciated the state government for its prompt response to the plight of persons living with disabilities.
Mrs Awu however appealed to the governor to give scholarships and political appointments to persons living with disabilities in the state.
Administrative head of the Lafia Comprehensive Special School, Mrs Bable Jaja, said based on the guidelines for national policy on special needs education, Nasarawa State has developed its special curriculum that is serving to motivate pupils of the school to attend their educational goals.
Mostly from foresights of past and present administrations in the state, Mrs. Jaja disclosed that presently, pupils at the Comprehensive Special School Lafia, enjoy free primary education, free therapies to develop life skills and free primary healthcare.
Other facilities being enjoyed by the pupils according to the administrative head of the school include free special therapies such as physio-electromagnetic fields and speech therapy.
This year’s theme for the International Disabilities Day is : “Leadership and Participation of Persons with Disability towards an Inclusive and Accessible Post COVID-19 World”.