By Stella Enenche Abuja
Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, has said he would ensure that persons with disabilities are accorded all rights and support at the nation’s airports, in accordance with the provisions of Discrimination Against Persons with Disabilities Act.
Sirika made the pledge when the Executive Director, Centre for Citizen with Disabilities, David Ayaele and his team paid him a courtesy visit in his office in Abuja
In a statement by the director public affairs James Odaudu, the minister said equipment and facilities that will help the movement of persons with disabilities at the airports would be provided, adding that no form of discrimination or mistreatment of physically-challenged at the nation’s airports would be tolerated henceforth.
The Minister further directed all airline operators in Nigeria to ensure that persons with disabilities are accorded all rights and support in the course of their travels.
Sirika told the team that he was sure that the mandatory 5% employment quota enshrined in the Disability Act has been surpassed, as the Ministry and its agencies do not have any record of discrimination against people with disabilities.
Earlier the Executive Director Centre for Citizen with Disabilities David Ayaele decried the incessant discrimination experienced by persons with disability at the nation’s airports and called for the full implementation of the Discrimination against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) 2018 Act.
Ayaele urged the Minister to speedily investigate the increasing human rights violations against citizen with disabilities by airlines operators in Nigeria with view of bringing perpetrators to book and elimination of all forms of violence against such persons at the nation’s airport.
He equally appealed to the Minister to ensure that in accordance with Act, all airlines operating in Nigeria ensure the accessibility of their aircraft to persons with disabilities by making available presentable and functional wheelchairs for the conveyance of persons with disabilities to facilitate their movement to and from the aircraft and ensure that disable persons are accorded priority while boarding and disembarking from aircraft.
The Executive Director also appealed to the Minister to ensure implementation of the 5% employment recommendation in the Disability Act is implemented in the Ministry and its agencies
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