Africa Apr 30, 2012
ABUJA: House of Representatives has passed a law which makes it a crime for any individual or corporate organization to discriminate against persons with disabilities either in terms of employment or making public offices inaccessible to persons with disabilities.
The bill sponsored by Abike Dabiri-Erewa seeks to “Ensure Full Integration of Nigerians with Disability into the Society and Eliminate All Forms of Discrimination Against Them”. The bill prescribes punishment for offenders ranging from prison term or payment of fines as the case may be.
The bill provides that “Persons with disabilities shall have the right to work, on an equal basis with others; this includes the right to opportunity to gain a living by work freely chosen or accepted in a labour market and work environment that is open”.
Section 60(1) of the Bill states that: “No employer or his agent or purported agent shall discriminate against a person with disability in any manner whatsoever and in particular but not limited to: (a) a job application procedure”.
In order to ensure easy access for people with disabilities to promotion like their able counterpart, the bill further prescribes that worker with disability must not be denied “access or limiting the employee’s access to opportunity for promotion, advancement, transfer or training, or to any other benefit associated with employment”.
It also recommended that every public office buildings should create special parking spaces, special stair cases or lifts for the disabled among several other provisions.
Abike Dabiri-Erewa noted that though the bill suffered a lot of opposition from members of the House, she is happy, it was eventually passed.