February 1, 2012
The Coordinating Minister for the Economy and the Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has disclosed that the Federal Government has reserved 20 per cent of SURE programmes’ benefits for the vulnerable group in the country.
Dr. Okonjo-Iweala said this while receiving members of the Joint National Association of Persons with Disabilities (JONAPWD) on Tuesday, January 31, 2012 when the group, an umbrella body of and for organizations of people with disabilities paid her courtesy visit.
In a speech read by its national President, Danladi Basharu, ESQ, requested for government attention to their peculiar needs which include signing into law its National Disability Bill, exclusion from the SURE programmes, employment for its members, disability-friendly Mass Transit bus scheme, amongst others.
While assuring the group that the disabilities bill will be brought to the attention of the President and the Minister of Women Affairs (the Ministry in charge of the affairs of such vulnerable groups), the Minister also promised to intimate the President and Vice President on the needs of the group for inclusion into SURE programmes.
The Minister also disclosed that the Federal Government is collaborating with the State governments to address the problem of youth unemployment, gender insensitivity and women/children vulnerability. She implored the group to key into the Public works and Youth Empowerment programmes which has been inaugurated to oversee employment of the youths across the country.
She further explained that there is need for collaboration between government and the group so as to target the youth members of the group for required employment that is expected to be done by the states.
Dr. Okonjo-Iweala, commended JONAPWD members for its intelligence and survival spirit not withstanding non acceptance by the society, encouraged the group to always fully participate in the society by contributing its own quota. She however agreed to another meeting in 6 month to review achievements as well as update.