DELTA ASSEMBLY PASSES PROTECTION OF PERSONS LIVING WITH DISABILITIES BILL

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The Delta State Persons Living With Disabilities Bill 2024, has been passed by the State House of Assembly.

The voluminous bill, sponsored by the member representing Ika North East in the House, Hon Marylyn Okowa-Daramola was passed at Tuesday’s plenary, presided over by the Speaker, Rt Hon Emomotimi Dennis Guwor.

The passage of the bill, the second in the 8th Assembly, was sequel to a motion to that effect by the Majority Leader, Hon Emeka Nwaobi, after a careful legislative scrutiny of the bill at the Committee of the Whole, chaired by the Speaker, Emomotimi Guwor, with the Chairman, House Committee on Housing, Women Affairs, Girl Child Entrepreneurship and Humanitarian Support Services, Hon Bridget Anyafulu leading the amendments process.

At the Committee of the Whole House, the Lawmakers scrutinized the 51-session bill clause by clause and made necessary amendments, including on the schedule and marginal notes of the proposed legal document.

The bill had earlier sailed through first and second readings on the floor of the House, and subsequently referred to the House Joint Committee on Housing, Women Affairs, Girl Child Entrepreneurship and Humanitarian Support Services and Special Committee on Bills

Commending the Lawmakers for their inputs at the Committee of the Whole House, and the successful passage of the bill, the Speaker, Rt Hon Emomotimi Guwor, said the 8th Assembly under his watch, had, by the passage of the bill, recorded another legislative milestone.

“I wish to commend you all for your contributions on the bill at the Committee of the Whole House. Your participation was indeed, heartwarming.

“This bill is indeed a great achievement to this Honorable House as it comes with great respite for those living with disabilities.

“Therefore, I wish to express my profound gratitude to the sponsor of this people-oriented bill and indeed everyone of you on the successful passage of the all-important bill”, Guwor said.

Reacting to the development, the lead sponsor, Hon Marylyn Okowa-Daramola, 

expressed happiness over the successful completion of legislative fireworks on the bill by the State Assembly now awaiting the Governor’s assent.

Hon Okowa-Daramola, who represents Ika North East and Chairman, Assembly Committee on Finance and Appropriations, described the proposed law as an answer to the yearnings of people who desired and deservesld special attention and recognition in the society.

She said “Today, the 12th of March 2024, the State House of Assembly passed the Delta State Protection of Persons with Disability Bill 2024, after it successfully scaled through 3rd reading.

“The landmark bill, which I am the lead sponsor, is a remarkable win for persons with disabilities in Delta State as its provisions will ensure improved inclusiveness, participation, protection, equity and empowerment”.

Hon Okowa-Daramola explained further that the proposed Delta State Protection of Persons with Disability Law would eradicate discrimination in all forms against individuals with disabilities and prohibit any unfair treatment based on disability.

 “With accompanying penalties for infringements, the proposed law will also promote inclusivity and accessibility by providing that persons with disabilities afforded lifts, ramps and other accessibility aids to all physical structures. 

“It will also ensure improved access to transportation, including exclusive parking spaces and improved access to public transport.

“In addition, the law emphasizes the rights of persons living with disabilities to basic and secondary education, to live independently, access information, and participate fully in political, cultural, and social life”, the Lawmaker noted.

Okowa-Daramola, who paid glowing tribute to the Speaker and members for their support and encouragement, stated that the proposed law was in line with the UN and other global protocols and standards on disability rights and justice.

The Ika North East representative explained that the passed bill provides for the establishment of a Commission for Persons with Disabilities, whuch will facilitate the implementation of the provisions of the proposed law.

Hon. Okowa-Daramola promised to initiate several other people-oriented bills that would further promote peace, development and good governance in the state.

“I want to say a big congratulations to the 8th Assembly for the speedy consideration and passage of this landmark bill which is the second private member bill to be passed by the House.

“It is certain that the implementation of the proposed law will improve the well-being of all Deltans, particularly those living with disabilities, their families and communities”, the Lawmaker emphasized.

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