By Philip Yatai

The Joint National Association of Persons with Disabilities (JONAPWD), Kaduna State Chapter, says it will monitor the implementation of N280 million budget earmarked for the State Rehabilitation Board in 2022.

Chairman of the association, Mr Suleiman Abdul-azeez, stated this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Kaduna on Monday.

NAN reports that the state  government  earmarked N280.2 million for the Board  in the 2022 budget, with N133.2 million for recurrent and N147 million for capital expenditures respectively.

Abdul-azeez said that the N147 million for capital expenditure was for the completion of three Ultra-Modern Rehabilitation Centres under construction in Soba, Birnin Gwari and Jaba Local government areas.

He said that N5.4 million was allocated for the rehabilitation of persons with disabilities, N7.5 million for procurement of teaching aids and instructional materials, while N8.0 million was for purchase of resettlement tools under overhead cost.

According to the chairman, physically-challenged persons  in the state will no longer sit on the sideline watching as developments affecting them unfold.

He said his members  would be deeply involved in monitoring the implementation of the budget by paying  advocacy visits and pressing for the release of the funds to the Board.

“We have established  good working relationship with the leadership of the Rehabilitation Board over the years.

“What we will do more is to reach out to other Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) implementing one form of intervention or the other, for PWDs.

“For example, there is the allocation of N100 million for the Disability Trust Fund under the Ministry of Human Services and Social Development.

“We will work with the ministry to ensure timely release of the fund to ensure the take-off of the Disability Trust Fund in line with provision of the State Disability Law 2021,” he said.

He thanked the Partnership to Engage Reform and Learn (PERL) for supporting his association in analysing the 2022 draft budget, thereby enabling them to make observations during the public hearing on the document.

“We observed that the N88.2 million allocated for the completion of the construction of three Ultra-Modern Rehabilitation Centres in three LGAs, was grossly inadequate, and recommended that the amount be increased.

“We are grateful that the leadership of the State Assembly considered our request and increased the amount to N147 million, as indicated in the approved budget. This is commendable,” he said.