Three years after Nigeria made a commitment at the 2018 Global Disability Summit, a coalition has revealed that the Africa’s most populous country was yet to fulfill her promise on establishing a verified disaggregated database for People Living With Disabilities (PWDs).
The coalition, under the aegis of Count Disability Nigeria Coalition, while disclosing this at a press briefing in Abuja on Wednesday, lamented that despite the population of Nigeria, the actual figures of PWDs was still unknown, due to inactions of the Federal Government.
Dr. Irene Patrick-Ogbogu, who spoke on behalf of the coalition, said if developed, the disability disaggregated database would play pivotal roles across all aspects of development at national and subnational levels.
“Going by the World Bank/WHO disability prevalence rate of 15% in 2018, it is estimated that about 29 million out of the 195 million population of Nigeria are persons with disabilities, however, the absence of concrete data to provide real usable evidence for this estimation reduces it to a mere abstract proclamation and this has contributed immensely to the worsening exclusion and vulnerability of PWDs in Nigeria.
“July 2021 marked the third anniversary of the commitments made by the Nigerian Government at the Global Disability Summit (GDS) held in the UK in July 2018, to collect and use reliable and comparable data on disability, to set up a data and research fund and to use the Washington Group of Questions for both the National Census and the National Demographic Survey by 2023.
“At the Summit, ten national governments, including Nigeria, committed to using the Washington Group set of Questions on disability status in upcoming national censuses or surveys, of which seven countries (Nigeria, Kenya, Kyrgyz Republic, Malawi, Rwanda, Tanzania, Zambia) will include the questions in their national population census in the next five years.
“Despite Nigeria’s GDS commitments to collection of disability disaggregated population data and the adoption of the WG Question Sets, a progress assessment carried out by the Count Disability Coalition, shows that the absence of institutional frameworks and strategic guidelines on development of National Disability Database constitutes some of the key reasons why most of the MDAs responsible for managing population and other demographic data are yet to fully commit to implementing the GDS Charter of Change”, Patrick-Ogbogu said.
On his part, Mr. Olajide Funsho of Disability Not a Barrier Initiative, said the PWDs suffered neglect greatly during the 2020 global lockdown, as government officials found it difficult to accurately get their demography and disaggregated data to enable them reach out with palliatives.
He added that though the National Disability Act recommended 5% quota for employment slots of PWDs, the relevant agencies recruiting always find it difficult to identify the disaggregated data, in terms of age, sex, disabilities and location.
The Coalition recommended that relevant agencies in Nigeria should facilitate the development of nationally accepted and standardized instruments which properly integrates the WG Question Sets as a first step towards achieving disability disaggregated population data in the country.