Independent Living Institute


Government Action on Disability Policy
A Global Survey
Part II - Government Replies as Country Profiles


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© Dimitris Michailakis 1997

Transmitted by Permanent Mission to the United Nations, New York (25 April 1996)
General policy

The officially recognized disability policy in Nigeria is expressed in law. There is also a Government ordinance from 1993 for the social protection of persons with disabilities. The emphasis is on prevention, rehabilitation, accessibility measures and anti-discrimination law.

Since the adoption of the Rules the Government conveyed the message of full participation has by way of information campaigns.


The rights of persons with disabilities are protected by special legislation. Judicial mechanisms to protect the rights of persons with disabilities include due process (legal remedy through courts) and recourse procedure by a special agency dealing with anti-discrimination issues.

The general legislation applies to persons with different disabilities with respect to education, employment, the right to marriage, the right to parenthood/family, political rights, access to court-of-law, right to privacy, property rights. The following benefits are guaranteed by law to persons with disabilities: health and medical care, training rehabilitation and counselling, financial security, employment, independent living, and participation in decisions affecting them.

No new legislation concerning disability has been enacted since the adoption of the Rules.


There are laws and regulations ensuring accessibility of the build environment requiring that public places, the outdoor environment, means of public transportation, and housing are made accessible. There is no responsible body for observing accessibility in the build environment. The following measures have been promoted to facilitate accessibility in the build environment: levelling off pavements, marking parking areas, installing automatic doors, lifts and accessible toilets. There is no special transport system. When planning to build accessible environments the most difficult obstacles are attitudinal factors, economic/budgetary factors, technical factors, lack of legislation and regulations, lack of knowledge, research and information, and lack of enforcement mechanisms. There is no disability awareness component incorporated in the training of planners, architects and construction engineers.

Sign language for deaf people is used as the first language in education of deaf people. There are no Government measures for encouraging media and other forms of public information to make their services accessible. The following services are provided in order to facilitate information and communication between persons with disabilities and other persons: literature in Braille, and sign language interpretation available for major events.

Organizations of persons with disabilities

There is a national umbrella organization. There are no legal provisions mandating the representatives of persons with disabilities to participate in policy-making and to work with Governmental institutions. Organizations are sometimes consulted when laws and regulations with a disability aspect are being prepared. Consultations take place at national, regional and local level. The Government gives financial and organizational/logistic support to existing or new organizations of persons with disabilities. Persons with disabilities participate to a very limited extent in Government, legislature and judicial authorities but to a great extent in political parties and NGOs. The organizations have the role to advocate rights and improved services, mobilize persons with disabilities, identify needs and priorities, participate in the planning, implementation and evaluation of services and measures concerning the lives of persons with disabilities, contribute to public awareness, provide services, and promote/organize income generating activities.

Co-ordination of work

There is no national co-ordinating committee or any similar body in Nigeria.

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