Nigeria: Saraki Assures Of Quick Passage of Disability Bill
The President of the Nigeria Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, has assured of the quick passage of the Disability Rights Bill which is currently before the National Assembly.
He further assured that the bill already passed by the two chambers of National Assembly would be sent to President Muhammadu Buhari for his assent before the end of March this year.
Saraki spoke on Wednesday when the Chairman of the Kpakpando Foundation, Senator Osita Izunaso, led members of the foundation to pay him a courtesy visit at the National Assembly in Abuja.
According to a statement by his Special Assistant on Print Media, Chuks Okocha, Saraki told the foundation that the two chambers of the National Assembly have since passed the Disability Rights Bill, but wondered why there was no conference committee to harmonise the differences between the Senate and House of Representatives.
Saraki said: “To the best of my knowledge, I know we have passed this bill. It has been passed by both chambers of the National Assembly, but due to some administrative hindrances, it has no business being with us by now.
“I even had to ask the Clerk to the National Assembly to query the staff delaying it. I want to assure you that within 30 days from today, the conference report of this bill will be ready. Over 95 per cent of the work has been done, just for it to come to the floor and for the Committee to give account.
“The Bill is important in that it will transform and change the lives of our people living with disabilities. I believe the benefits are enormous and the sooner we start implementing it, the better.
“I want to assure you, please, take the message to them. It should have come earlier and I assure you that before the end of March, it will be communicated to Mr. President for his assent”, Saraki stated.
In a related development, the President of the Senate has also pledged the readiness of the Senate to partner a Coalition for the Rights of Older Persons in Nigeria (COSROPIN) to improve the quality of lives of the aged in the society.
Saraki spoke when the COSROPIN, led by Senator Eze Ajoku, came to solicit for the support of the Senate in the passage of the bill for “an Act to provide certain rights and privileges for older persons in order to ensure healthy and economic reliefs and protection for their social and civil rights and other related matters.”
According to the President of the Senate, “Let me commend you for this innovative work that you have put upon yourself. As a country, we have neglected this set of older persons in our society and I think it is high time we start to do something about it and I am very delighted that you have taken it up.
“I can assure you that in the 8th National Assembly, you will find us partners in this process. Yesterday we were in Benin, Edo State in a seminar talking about migration and we found out that some of the causes of insecurity we see in our society is when children also have this obligation to continue to look after their older persons and members of the society because there is no social benefit, no support really and I believe when we begin to create this, it will filter down in providing stability.
“So definitely, where you are is where you ought to be. I must commend you for thi initiative and I hope that finally when this Bill is passed, we will remember the roles you people have played and you we will continue to be appreciated.
“This is a Bill that we will take seriously and we will ensure that it receives the kind of speedy consideration because it is the right thing to do for the country,” he said.