The General Manager of the Lagos State Office for Disability Affairs (LASODA), Mrs. Adenike Oyetunde-Lawal has again called on stakeholders in the Disability Community to advocate for policies and initiatives that promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workforce while creating an environment where every person, regardless of their abilities, can realise their full potential and contribute meaningfully to the society.

She made the call on Thursday during the commemoration of the International Workers Day event organised by Project Enable Africa held at the Multipurpose Room (MPR), United States Consulate General, Victoria Island, Lagos.

Oyetunde-Lawal highlighted the importance of inclusivity and the huge role it plays in the growth of the economy, enjoining employers of labour to endeavour to include a percentage of Persons With Disabilities (PWDs) in their organisations to join the cause of ensuring PWDs are fully integrated into the society.

The General Manager said the pivotal role which diversity, equity, and inclusion play in shaping the work environment and the economy at large cannot be overemphasised, pointing out that every individual regardless of disability has a role to play in the development of society.

In her words, “Each individual, regardless of ability or disability status, is endowed with unique perspectives, talents, and experiences. Embracing this diversity will not only enrich the society but will also foster innovation, creativity, and resilience”.

While calling on employers of labour to desist from discriminating against Persons with Disabilities, Oyetunde-Lawal stated that the law guiding LASODA makes it mandatory for employers of labour not to deny PWDs employment opportunities based on their disability status but instead reserve a particular quota for them during recruitment. 

Speaking further, she revealed that the state government has been consistent in ensuring the promotion of inclusion for PWDs by engaging them into full permanent employment positions and also exposing them to empowerment opportunities through the various skill acquisition projects put together by the various Ministries, Departments and Agencies.

“The Agency remains committed to enforcing an inclusive environment where everyone has equal access to economic opportunities and we must all acknowledge the barriers and challenges that PWDs often face in accessing employment, including discrimination, lack of accommodations, and societal misconceptions. Addressing the challenges faced by individuals with disabilities requires collective effort”, she said.

While reiterating the agency’s commitment to prioritising Persons With Disabilities (PWDs) and fostering a more inclusive society, she said there is a need for stakeholders to address challenges and promote positive change in the disability community. 

Earlier in his welcome address, the Executive Director of Project Enable Africa, Mr. Olusola Owonikoko spoke on the importance of fostering inclusive opportunities, pointing out that the government has made progress by approving the disability laws but a lot still has to be done to close a significant gap in accessing jobs and economic opportunities for PWDs.

“The purpose of the event, according to him, is to bring together different stakeholders, to have conversations around this issue. Making sure that no one is left behind and a way forward is forged”, he added.

The event tagged, “Promoting Inclusive Economic Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities”, had in attendance General Manager, Radisson Ikeja, Mr. Yehia Elmansoury; Head, Talent Acquisition, Sterling Bank, Mr. Oluwakunmi Idowu; Chairman, Lagos State Albinism Association of Nigeria, Mr. Tolani Ojuri; Project Enable Africa Alumni, Ms. Hilda Udemeh and Mr. Olusola Adeyefa, amongst others.

Related Articles

Back to top button