Report on Virtual meeting between the Executive Governor of Edo State- Godwin Obaseki and NAPVID Board of Trustees.

NAPVID meeting with Governor Godwin Obaseki

Report on Virtual meeting between the Executive Governor of Edo State- Godwin Obaseki and NAPVID Board of Trustees.

Introduction

Members of the Board of Trustees (BOT), Network for the Advancement of People with Visible Disabilities (NAPVID) met with his Excellency, Governor Obaseki Godwin on the February 15th, 2021. The meeting which took place via a virtual medium (Zoom), was for the purpose of discussing with his Excellency, the many issues surrounding the education & economic empowerment of persons living with disabilities (PWDs) in Edo state. Present at the meeting where; Godwin Obaseki – Edo state governor, Justice Isibor Peter (Rtd)- BOT Chairman, Melody Omosah- Secretary, Sir Oseni Elamah, Dr. Osagie Obayuwana, Prof. Lilian Salami and Mr. Austin Osakue- members of the BOT.

 

Purpose of meeting

The Chairman of the BOT, Justice Isibor (Rtd), began by thanking his Excellency for making himself available; he then introduced all members of the board. On behalf of NAPVID, Isibor congratulated Obaseki on his re-election as governor and commended him for the effort put into the restructuring of Edo state. He stated that the purpose of the meeting was to acquaint his Excellency, of the many effort made by NAPVID in advancing the education and economic empowerment of PWDs in the state, also to propose a partnership with the government, that would enhance the well-being of indigent PWDs.

 

Presentation by NAPVID

In a presentation made by Melody Omosah, he acquainted the governor on the vision, mission, activities and success stories of NAPVID. According to him, “NAPVID works to dismantle barriers that limit’s PWDs from attaining their fullest potentials and from effectively participating in society on an equal basis with others”. He stated that to achieve its mission, NAPVID has adopted a three-legged approach of Rights advocacy, Rehabilitation and Empowerment.

 

“Your Excellency Sir, of the plethora of advocacy matters NAPVID is presently driving, specific mention is here made of the need for a Disability Rights Law in Edo state”. Melody stated that the new Disability Rights Bill (drafted with impute from NAPVID) is before his Excellency awaiting Executive council approval and subsequent transmission to the house of assembly.

 

In line with NAPVID’s mission to empower PWDs, NAPVID has created a Center for Skill Acquisition and Rehabilitation (CENSAR). While thanking the governor for the donation of the property used, Melody underscored the need for a partnership with the government to guarantee sustainability, accountability and effective service delivery.

 

“In addition to hosting the first Braille and Computer press in Edo and Delta state, the granted property will be an empowerment hub for teaching various handicrafts“-Melody.

 

Finally, Obaseki was intimated on the activities and huge impact made by NAPVID in the area of education. “For persons with disabilities as with other persons, education is not only vital in itself, but also instrumental for participating in employment and other areas of social activities” According to Melody, NAPVID through its NAPVID EDUCATION FUND program (NEF), has in the past nine (9) years, offered scholarships, accommodation and assistive education equipments worth millions to over two hundred (200) indigent students with disabilities, across the primary, secondary and tertiary levels.

 

Reactions from His Excellency

Obaseki in his reaction commended NAPVID for the strong advocacy efforts but into advancing the cause for Inclusion.

 

He stated clearly that his administration is working to ensure an inclusive government for all, including PWDs. “We have just commenced the Data to Make Edo Great Again (Data to MEGA) project, we will ensure that a part of the data collected is that of persons with disabilities. We want to know who they are, where they are and what the need”.

 

He further stated that his administration will work to provide strong policy framework that would back up all efforts made in ensuring the social inclusion of PWDs.

 

Obaseki gave his approval for a partnership with NAPVID to advance the education and economic empowerment of indigent PWDs in Edo state. He instructed that a governance council comprising of designated office of government and the management of NAPVID be formed. The governance council shall work to ensure sustainability, accountability and effective service delivery of the NAPVID CENSAR.

 

Finally, Obaseki pledged the grant of a monthly subvention fund to support the NEF program.

 

The Chairman -Justice Isibor, thanked the governor for the due consideration given to all request presented. Osagie Obayuwana, commended Obaseki for his support and suggested that he consider bringing a PWD into his cabinet to ensure better representation of the interest of PWDs.

 

Conclusion

Following the discussion with the governor of Edo state on issues around social inclusion and economic empowerment of persons with disability, Obasaki made a commitment to;

 

  1. Overhaul Special education in Edo state with the constitution of an inter-ministerial committee to partner with NAPVID,

 

  1. Grant monthly subvention to aid the academic and welfare needs of indigent persons with disabilities,

 

  1. Partner with NAPVID to establish a bureaucracy for her skill acquisition center to guarantee sustainability and accountability

 

  1. Include the status of persons with disabilities in the Data to Make Edo Great Again project,

 

  1. Support the enactment of disability rights bill and formation of policies to integrate PWDs in governance.v

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.