May 18, 2024

PWDs Describe Current Economic Situation Occasioned By Fuel Subsidy Removal Alarming, Critical, Unbearable

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….stressing the need for an inclusive and sustainable programmes to mitigate the impact of fuel subsidy

By Simeon OSAJIE

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Edo State Disability Forum (EDF) today Thursday 8th February, 2024 called on government at all levels to the plight of Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) following the removal of fuel subsidy stressing the need for an inclusive and sustainable programmes and policies on the part of Edo State government to mitigate the impact of fuel subsidy removal on PWDs living in Edo.

Convener Edo Disability Forum (EDF) Melody Omosah Esq, made the call in Benin during a press briefing with the theme, “Mitigating the impact of fuel subsidy removal on persons with Disabilities: The need for inclusive and Functional Social Protection Mechanism.”

Omosah, who is also Executive Director, Network For the Advancement of People with Visible Disability (NAPVID) lamented the adverse impact of the removal of fuel subsidy policy on Persons with Disabilities (PWDs), saying it is particularly severe, as Persons with Disabilities grapple with heightened vulnerability in the absence of adequate Social Protection Mechanisms.

He said the forum is drawing the attention of government of Edo State to the predicament of Persons with Disabilities and to urge policy makers, stakeholders,  and the public to rally behind the course of Persons With Disabilities, and to take collective action to ensure that no one is left behind  in the wake of the changes.

Omosah who noted that PWDs are 3 times more disadvantaged, and disproportionately affected by the fuel subsidy removal, added that the removal of fuel subsidy is fostering inequality and inequity against PWDs and is further limiting their inclusivity and opportunities.

“It is no longer news that the recent removal of Fuel subsidy by the Federal Government, has triggered unprecedented surge in the cost of living, affecting the lives and livelihoods of Nigerians. What may be news is that the adverse impact of this policy on Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) is particularly severe, as they grapple with heightened vulnerability in the absence of adequate social protection mechanisms.

“The pronouncement by Mr. President, immediately resulted to the astronomical hike in the amount of PMS or fuel and concomitantly, the price of goods and services. This in general, has reduced the purchasing power of Nigerians and has particularly exacerbated the life and livelihood of PWDs, as any sudden disruption to a people’s social, economic, and political life, heightens the vulnerability of Persons with Disabilities.

“Currently, the estimated 675,000 PWDs in Edo State, are groaning under the weight of the removal of subsidy on fuel by the Nigeria government, as no functional social protection mechanism has been specifically put in place to ensure their survival. Sadly, this has further increased their vulnerability, leading to an endless cycle of poverty and disability.”

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