By Ikechukwu Okaforadi
The Senate on Tuesday considered a bill seeking to establish a National Agency for the Research and Management of Persons with Special Needs.
The bill which scaled Second Reading on the floor during plenary was sponsored by Senator Betty Apiafi (PDP, Rivers West), and was read for the first time on December 5, 2019.
The lawmaker said, the bill among other things, seeks to create an agency charged with improving the social, economic, mental and with Physical well-being of persons diagnosed with disorders that have special needs.
Among cases of special needs which the bill seeks to provide for are persons with Down’s syndrome; Autism; Cerebral palsy; Dyslexia; Bipolar disorder; Albinism and hypo-pigmentation; Vitiligo; Psoriasis; Lupus; Scleroderma; Severe Atopic Dermatitis; Lamellar Ichthyosis; Sickle cell disorder; Thalassemia; Haemophilia; Hydrocephalus/Neural disorders; and Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder.
The piece of legislation, according to Apiafi, while “addressing the plight and hardship of citizens with Special needs in Nigeria”, would cater for various disorders.
The Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, after the bill was considered by the upper chamber, referred same to the Committee on Sports and Social Development for further legislative work.