SAMUEL Ankeli, Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to the President on Disability Matters, says inaccurate data is hindering effective distribution of COVID-19 palliatives to People Living With Disabilities (PLWDs).
Ankeli told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Abuja that an efficient disability data bank system would enable adequate planning and management of PLWDs in the country.
“We have some baseline surveys that are not realistic; we need Basic Registry and Information System in Nigeria (BRISIN), as quickly as possible to get concrete functional data base.
“The BRISIN will help us have a system on ground that will constantly and continuously give us information that can be processed and use for planning and policy.
“We are talking about Bill for Disability; we can’t come up with concrete evidence to say this is the number of people living with disability in the country.
“There are lots of risk factors prevailing in the country now, from terrorism attack to herdsmen/farmers clashes. We also have automobile accidents and terminal diseases, including this very COVID- 19 pandemic.
“Since there are no proper records, distribution of government palliatives has been confusing, especially for PLWDs.
“The agitation over palliatives has pushed people into defying the government order. This should not be the case.
“Without adequate records, distributors of the palliatives will not know who should get what and where to find them, ” Ankeli added.
The SSA, while reiterating the importance of the data bank, said that he would use his office to ensure its generation and implementation for the nation’s development.
Dr Anthony Uwa, Head, BRISIN, who also spoke with NAN, said that COVID-19 was an eye opener to the importance of BRISIN in Nigeria.
According to him, the situation in Nigeria today is enough to make the implementation of BRISIN a priority.
“Take a look at the fear imposed on human movements. With terrorism and more criminals in the society, it means we must e-strategise.”
Uwa, however, commended President Muhammadu Buhari and his SSA on disability matters, Ankeli, for commencing implementation of the disability data bank in the country.
On the need for Nigerians to constantly wash their hands to curtail spread of COVID-19, he urged governments at all levels to ensure steady water supply to schools, markets and public places.
“Every school, market or recreational centres must have bore holes; it should be a major criterion for the issuance of license to operate,” he said.
– May 17, 2020 @ 13:52 GMT /