The Lagos State Government has appealed to members of the public to support its all-inclusive policy by shunning every act of stigmatization towards Persons With Disabilities (PWDs) empowered and trained to offer vocational services for their independent livelihood.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Youth and Social Development, Mr. Hakeem Muri-Okunola made the plea at the graduation ceremony of a student with hearing and talking impairment educated at a Community Based Rehabilitation and Training Centre, Majidun, Ikorodu.
Mr. Muri-Okunola, who was represented at the event by Director of Rehabilitation in the Ministry, Mr. Ajao Olabode said irrespective of efforts and investment that has gone into giving people with disabilities a sense of hope, stigmatization will not help the purpose for which the State Government had empowered them.
He added that the society can encourage and support them by patronizing their business and not compound their situation with stigmatization or untoward behaviour.
The Permanent Secretary noted that the stigmatization factor has always been of great concern but the government will not be deterred in its efforts to empower PWDs in partnership with external vocational and training centres through Community Based Rehabilitation.
He said the graduate, Habeeb Bala and other beneficiaries of empowerment of the State Government’s Disability Trust Fund will be monitored to ensure they practice acquired skills, impact others and establish their trades as intended to make PWDs become self-sustaining.
The Principal of the Centre, Eyiowuawi Sikiru thanked the Lagos State Government for its deep sense of concern towards empowering PWDs with skills and startup funds.