The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has said that the Data to Make Edo Great Again (Data to MEGA) exercise will provide the state government with adequate and credible data to plan and meet the needs of Persons Living with Disabilities (PLWD) in the state.
The governor, who said this during a virtual meeting with members of the board of trustees of the Network for the Advancement of People with Visible Disabilities (NAPVID), noted that the state government is actively restructuring the state’s public sector to respond to the needs of the 21st century work environment.
Obaseki said the government’s effort in tackling issues concerning PWLD would be anchored on pragmatic policies as well as laws to ensure that interventions are sustained over time.
He stated that the state government would be supporting scholarship packages and rebuilding schools for persons with disabilities as well as providing the needed policy support to ensure an inclusive government.
According to him, “As a government, we have always supported Persons Living with Disabilities (PLWD). We are working on ensuring an inclusive government, which would be supported by policy interventions as well as a law.
“We have just commenced the Data to MEGA project. We need to ensure that a part of the data being collected is that of people living with disabilities. We want to know who they are, where they are and what they need. This will be essential as we build our social register.
“It must be noted that at the starting point of our support is to ensure that there is a pragmatic policy framework that sets the grundnorm for the efforts we would be making to ensure inclusion in government. We would be working with the network to ensure that all we do will include PLWD.”
He commended the NAPVID for a strong advocacy effort, noting that there was a need to expand the scope of their engagement to include more persons who would contribute to advancing their cause.
President of NAPVID, Melody Omosah, expressed appreciation to the state government for the efforts at ensuring that the issues raised by the network are attended to.
“We are confident that you have the will to make a difference. We do not want to say that we are who we are because of our disability but that we are who we are in spite of our disability.”
A member of the NAPVID board of trustees, Osagie Obayuwana, commended the governor for his passion for causes promoted by NAPVID, appealing to the governor to consider appointing someone that would represent the interest of PLWD in his cabinet.