Dr Samuel Ankeli, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Disability Matters, while commenting on the establishment of a data bank on the People Living with Disability (PLWD) said, this is the first time in the history of this country, a concrete action is taken by any government toward building a system for data governance, that would give room for accurate planning and management of (PLWD)
The Presidential aide said his office will coordinate all other stakeholders to join resources in building this centralised data bank for good planning and management of these less privileged members that are difficult to manage as at now.
The Presidential aide, however, confirmed that it had been difficult to get accurate data to plan for PLWD. We don’t know how many people living with disability, most time, we guess and rely on foreign organisations to give us figures about our people. This has made life difficult not only for people living with disability but for people in governance. We have some baseline surveys that are not realistic, that is why we decided to work with BRISIN as quickly as possible and get it functional.
So that we can have a system on ground that will constantly and continuously give us information so that when we process it, we can use the data to apply for planning and policy.
We are talking about Bill for disability; we can’t come up with concrete evidence to say this is the number of people living with disability in the country.’’ According to Dr Ankeli, a lot of risk factors prevailing in the country now, from terrorism attack to herdsmen/farmers clash, auto-mobile accidents and terminal diseases. Not to forget the recent visa restrictions inflicted on Nigeria by United State and EU government just because we lack correct data and information in Nigeria.
He said there was no proper record on those factors, especially for PLWD. Who keeps records? Is the number reducing or increasing? We need to get this data correct. I am convinced BRISIN is the answer and best option for us to have effective, efficient, sincere and scientific information in Nigeria specifically on people living with disability across Nigeria,’’ the Presidential aide said.
Dr Ankeli commended the President and Federal Government for including the PLWD in the Social Investment Programme, noting that the people were initially neglected.
The Senior Special Assistant to Mr President, however, called for support from well meaning and patriotic Nigerians, Oil and Gas companies, Communication and ICT companies, Banks and organized private sectors, donors and international organization, State Governors, Local government Chairmen, and all the stakeholders on the issues with (PLWD, IDP and Less privileged) in Nigeria.
The data bank is not for us alone its for everyone, lets join hand and build it for the future of our country.