Makinde Establishes Agency to Cater for Needs of Persons With Disabilities

The Oyo State Governor, ‘Seyi Makinde has announced the establishment of an agency to cater for the needs and welfare of persons with disabilities in Oyo State.

The governor made this announcement on Saturday at the 2022 International Day of Persons With Disabilities celebrations held at Western Hall, Secretariat, Ibadan.

Speaking at the event, the governor who was represented by his deputy, Barrister Abdulraheem Adebayo Lawal noted that the present administration will not relent in its efforts to create an environment that showcases a sense of belonging for persons with disabilities in the state.

Lawal noted that according to UNESCO, education is the birthright of every child whether able or disabled. In light of this, the right of the child with special needs in all its ramifications must be preserved along with their able colleagues.

His words: “The vision of the Oyo State government and the present administration through the Ministry of Education is to develop, monitor, and ensure implementation of policies required to make quality and relevant education accessible to children and young adults with special educational needs in all communities.

“The Restoration Agenda of this administration put the improvement of the quality of life of all Oyo State citizens at the centre of all development plans. The economic agenda includes the empowerment of people for sustainable wealth creation. The free and qualitative education includes “a no child left behind policy”. This implementation involves all special persons that are inclusively part of the Oyo State population.

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“It is worthy to note here that my administration has ensured that persons with disabilities have an opportunity to achieve a standard of living equal to that of their fellow citizens. Examples of these can be seen in the following areas:
procurement of instructional/teaching materials for all our special schools (Primary and Secondary),
employment of one hundred and fifty persons with special needs into the state civil service, rehabilitation, and renovation of homes and schools for Persons With Disabilities (PWDs), payment of monthly feeding allowances to all residents in special schools in Oyo State, payment of domestic workers’ salaries in special school hostels, the appointment of persons with disabilities as political appointees (Special Assistants and Supervisory Councilors) in the thirty-three (33) local government areas of the state, and establishment of Oyo State Agency for Persons With Disabilities (PWDs).

“Today, the state government is presenting brailed textbooks for all the visually impaired pupils and students in the state. This is part of the magnanimity of this administration toward persons with special needs generally and the pupils/students with visual impairment in particular as this put them on the same pedestrian as their sighted counterparts.

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“In recognition of the vital roles of these special people in the development of our society, the Oyo State government will continue to accord them a place of pride by providing necessary teaching materials, capacity development, manpower, and other resources.

“In the same vein, the state government will continue to give financial assistance towards the education and welfare of persons with special needs.

“At this point, it is not out of place to appreciate the collaborative efforts of the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology and more importantly, Office of the Executive Assistant to the Governor on Disability matters, Barrister Ayodele Adekanmbi for their selfless services to give new lease of life to visually impaired persons in particular and other Persons With Disabilities (PWDs) at large.

“I would like to emphasise here that this administration has very laudable and sustainable ideas, initiatives, and vision if given another chance in the office”, he stated.

In the meantime, in his brief remarks, Executive Assistant to the governor on Persons With Disabilities, Barrister Ayodele Adekanmbi lauded the governor for his visionary leadership, adding that the agency will protect the welfare and rights of Persons With Disabilities in the state.

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Similarly, the Chairman Planning Committee for the 2022 International Day of Persons With Disabilities, Evangelist Olu Kayode said at no time in the history of this state have they had this magnitude of involvement in decision-making in government.

“This is evident in the appointment of Barrister Ayodele Adekanmbi as the Executive Assistant to the Governor on Disability Matters and Timothy as Special Assistant on Special Needs.

“The appointment of our people as Supervisory Councillors and Special Advisers in all local governments also deserve commendation”, he stated.

In his remarks, the Commissioner for Education, Abiodun Abdulraheem said since the inception of this administration, the state government had seen the necessity to produce brailed textbooks for students with visual impairment as this is part of the government agenda of providing qualitative education to all students regardless of their conditions.

The event was attended by the Hon Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Dr Wasiu Olatunbosun among other dignitaries.

Meanwhile, dignitaries at the event were entertained with music, ewi rendition, other renditions, dance, presentation of awards, symbolic presentation of braille books, and cutting of the cake.

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