FEDERAL MINISTRY OF FINANCE
News Release January 31, 2012
SURE: 74,000 JOBS SET ASIDE FOR VULNERABLE GROUPS – OKONJO-IWEALA
Twenty percent of the 370,000 jobs that will be created nationwide this year under the public works programme of the Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Scheme (SURE) will go to vulnerable groups including persons living with disabilities.
Coordinating Minister of the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala disclosed this at an interactive forum with the leadership of the Joint National Association of Persons Living with Disabilities (JONAPWD), in Abuja, on Tuesday led by National President, Mr Danlami Basharu.
According to the minister, the initiative is a product of President Goodluck Jonathan’s focus on empowering all willing and able Nigerians to contribute their quota to growing the country’s economy.
She directed the national coordinator of the public works segment of SURE to immediately incorporate persons living with disabilities into his programme and furnish her with progress report before a follow-up forum gets underway in six months’ time.
“By seeing and incorporating you into the SURE Programme, nobody is doing you a favour. It is in the best interest of this country that everybody gets an opportunity to contribute to its development and the society loses by excluding you or any other segment”, the Minister assured them.
Recalling the example of President Frederick D Roosevelt, the only American President to serve four terms in spite of living with a disability, Dr Okonjo-Iweala described his example as an “eloquent lesson” of the benefits that society stands to gain if people living with disabilities are given a chance.
Dr Okonjo-Iweala praised persons living with disabilities in Nigeria for their resilience in the face of enormous odd, adding that considering the difficulties encountered in daily life by persons living without disabilities, what some Nigerians living with disabilities have achieved so far can only be described as awesome and amazing.
She paid special tribute to the Governor of Nasarawa, Alhaji Umaru Tanko Al-Makura State and a member representing Dutse Constituency in the Jigawa State House of Assembly Hon Adamu Shu’aibu Jigawar-Tsada for proving through their victory at the polls, that physical disability is no barrier to what a person can achieve and described members of the association as representing “one of the most inspiring segments of the Nigerian community”.
The Minister also promised to pass on to the appropriate quarters the request of the association for disability-friendly Mass Transit bus scheme run by persons with disabilities, through the Association as a way to ease their transportation problems and provide them employment.
The Minister promised to take up the implementation of aspects of the Disabilities Act with the relevant authorities to ensure that persons living with disabilities are properly integrated into the SURE Scheme in response to requests presented by the association.
Paul C Nwabuikwu
Senior Special Assistant to the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance