Sightsavers Nigeria, an NGO, on Friday said about 90 percent of Persons Living with Disabilities (PLwD) are unemployed. The organisation also attributed the under-employment to societal discrimination.
Mr Rasak Adekoya, the Communication Officer of Sightsavers Nigeria, disclosed this in a statement in Abuja to celebrate Workers Day. Adekoya urged government at all levels to grant disabled persons equal rights to work to improve their lives and reduce the pool of vulnerable people in the country.
Adekoya said the level of implementation of Disability Act signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari in January 2019, and domesticated by Lagos, Ondo, Jigawa, Plateau and Anambra States was still low.
According to him, PLwDs can contribute to the development of the nation’s economy if rightly employed. Adekoya said the World Bank’s rightly reported that a country that was inclusive of PLwDs in its development plan and fully harnesses their talents would likely increase its Gross Domestic Product by three to eight per cent.
Adekoya also said that the future of work would change to virtual space post COVID-19. He said that this would create opportunities for employers willing to reduce their operational cost to employ people with disabilities.
He said that most online meeting platforms, productivity tools and software were becoming accessible which would provide opportunities for PLwDs to work effectively in their organisations.
Adekoya said that the NGO was working with the Department for International Development on its Inclusion Works project and other NGOs across Lagos, Kano and FCT to provide technical assistance for employers to repose confidence in disabled people.
According to him, there is ability in disability but most importantly, productivity in disability. Newsmen report that Sightsavers Nigeria has been working in Nigeria for over 60 years, preventing and eliminating avoidable blindness and promoting equal rights of people with disabilities.