By Philip Yatai
Kaduna, Oct. 16, 2020 Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) in Kaduna State on Thursday appealed to the State House of Assembly to take their plights into consideration when going through the state’s 2021 budget proposal, for passage.
The PWDs said in their submission to the Assembly, made available to newsmen in Kaduna State, that many issues affecting them were not captured in the draft budget.
NAN reports that Gov. Nasir El-Rufai had on Oct. 6 presented the 2021 Draft Estimate of Revenues and Expenditure to the House of Assembly for consideration and passage.
El-Rufai presented a budget size of N237.5 billion, of which N157.6 billion representing 66 per cent of the budget was proposed for capital expenditure and N79.96 billion representing 34 per cent for recurrent expenditure.
Mr Abubakar Adam, Vice-Chairman, Joint National Association of Persons with Disabilities (JONAPWD) in the state, in the submission, complained of dwindling funding to address their peculiar challenges.
Adam said that the Kaduna State Rehabilitation Board proposed N453.4 million for completion of the construction of three Ultra-modern Rehabilitation Centres at Soba, Birnin Gwari and Jaba LGAs in Kaduna State.
He said that the amount was, however, slashed to N144 million in the draft budget.
“This reduction is a source of concern to the disability community as the centres are expected to empower thousands of persons with disability, particularly those begging on the streets.
“Similarly, no amount was allocated for the construction of recreational and community facilities for women with disabilities.
“Also, no fund was allocated for the procurement and distribution of tricycles, wheelchairs and crutches for PWDs.
“There is equally no allocation to protect the about 2,000 persons with albinism from skin cancer,” Adam said.
He called on the lawmakers to provide funds for the construction of recreational and community facilities for women with disability, one in each of the three Senatorial Zones, estimated at N60 million.
This, according to him, will help provide women with disabilities with space for networking, information gathering and sharing on issues that affect them.
He also called on the Assembly to allocate funds for the procurement and distribution of tricycles, wheelchairs and crutches across all the 23 LGAs estimated to cost N92 million.
Adam said that the tricycles and wheelchairs would help address challenges faced by the physically-challenged and persons with injured spinal cord.
He also appealed to the House to create a budget line to provide sunscreen lotion for albinos, to reduce their exposure to sunlight-related cancer.
“We equally want the House to create budget lines that will make access to health, education and public places inclusive for persons with disabilities,” he said.