LegislatureTop News

Disability Bill: AKHA Deputy Leader Optimistic of Governor’s Assent

Mercy Obot

The Deputy Leader and Member representing Nsit Ubium State Constituency in the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Otobong Bob, has expressed optimism over the Disability Bill receiving the state Governor’s assent after scaling the legislative hurdles.

The lawmaker made this statement during an interview session at the Assembly Complex on Thursday, March 21, 2024.

In his words, “As the 8th Assembly, we are optimistic that the disability bill will receive executive assent after the Legislature passes the bill into law.

“Recently, the State Governor has given assent to a lot of private member bills so far, and we are hopeful that this particular bill will see the light of day.”

Bob noted that there is a need for the law in the state because Akwa Ibom is one of the few states that has yet to domesticate the federal law.

Related: AKHA: Disability Bill Scales Through Second Reading

“Once the Disability Bill is passed into law, it will address a lot of exclusive public facilities in the state, especially government structures, which must be upgraded to enhance the accessibility of persons with disabilities.

“Sadly, Akwa Ibom is one of the few states that has yet to have the Disability Law, which is a federal law that has already been domesticated in about thirty (30) states,” Bob said.

Fielding questions on the implementation measures that should be adopted when the disability law is domesticated in the state, Bob noted that all hands have to be on deck for the law to be effectively implemented in the state.

“Once the disability law is domesticated in the state, the usual form of orientation has to occur from the state government and other relevant bodies like the press, private individuals, security personnel, advocacy groups and the Persons with Disabilities community.

“They have to collaborate in ensuring that they take advantage of the provisions made by the Disability Law.”

Meanwhile, the bill, which is on discrimination against persons with disabilities (PWDs), was considered and later passed through a second reading on the floor of the House.

The bill, sponsored by the Member representing Etinan State Constituency, Hon. (Engr.) Uduakobong Ekpo-Ufot, seeks “to provide for the full integration of persons with disabilities into society, establish the State Commission for persons with disabilities and vest in the Commission the responsibilities for their education, health care, social, economic and civil rights, and related matters.”

According to the Etinan Lawmaker, the PWD community will also have some privileges, which include accessibility to public buildings, opportunities for employment and participation, the right to education and appointment, as well as the duties of the executive secretary and other staff.

After the bill got unanimous support from Honourable Members, it was read a second time and referred to the House Committee on Health for further legislative functions.

Related Articles

Back to top button