The Australian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Paul Lehmann, on Thursday said that about 36,700 persons with disabilities across Nigeria would benefit from his government’s development projects by 2020.
Mr. Lehmann told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that many persons with disabilities in different parts of the country had started benefiting from the projects.
According to him, the projects are being funded through the Australian NGO Cooperation.
“The Australian Government has a strong commitment to disability inclusive development.
“Through the Australian NGO Cooperation Programme, the Australian Government is funding three projects in Nigeria that have a focus on disability.
“These projects are implemented by CBM Australia and The Leprosy Mission Australia.
“It is expected that these projects would be of benefit to about 36,700 Nigerian people with disabilities,’’ he said.
The high commissioner added that the Australian government had also been funding smaller projects through the commission’s Direct Aid Programme.
He said that funding of disability-focused projects would continue to be a priority for his government in Nigeria in the years ahead.
Mr. Lehmann said that the projects had so far had direct impact on the lives of persons living with disabilities in some Nigerian cities.
“For example, in Enugu, we have funded laptops with specialised software which speaks to blind children as they type and enables them get used to the computer system.
“In Plateau, there is a chicken farm in a school for disabled children for the school to generate income to be able to purchase specialised equipment for their disabled students.
“There is an art and craft project for children in Abuja, to produce and sell handicraft items and improve buildings and facilities in schools for disabled children,’’ he added.