Group Decries Neglect In NDDC ‘s Empowerment Programmes

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The Niger Delta Association of the Blind (NDAB) has decried the lack of equity in the distribution of slots of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) empowerment programmes to various beneficiary groups in the nine Niger Delta states.
President of the association in Rivers State, Comrade Collins Akpana, who made the complaint in Port Harcourt, said the body had been slighted in the allocation of empowerment slots to the various clusters under the Special Committee on Disability Matters in the Niger Delta (SCDMND).
Speaking in an exclusive interview with The Tide, in Port Harcourt, Akpana said that out of the seven clusters that form the Association of People with Special Needs in the Niger Delta (APSNND), the Association of the Blind was the least beneficiary of NDDC empowerment programmes.
He pointed out that in 2017, the special committee applied for sponsorship of World Disabilities Day from the NDDC, but when the fund was released in October, 2018, the Association of the Blind was denied access to the fund.
Akpana accused the special committee of giving preference to Persons with Physical Disabilities in the Niger Delta (PPDND) to the disadvantage of the Association of the Blind.
He appealed to the four group leaderships that comprise the committee to address the imbalances in the distribution of allocations to the body in the region to avoid any disagreements in future.
Akpana called on the committee to address the issues raised and ensure that all the seven clusters under its jurisdiction participatd equitably in the empowerment programmes of the commission.
He emphasised that if the committee failed to address the issues, the Association of the Blind will take further legitimate measures to address their perceived grievances.
When contacted, the Chairman of the Special Committee on Disability Matters in the Niger Delta, Comrade Sokari Abide, confirmed that the committee operated under a joint coalition of four groups, namely, the Great Minds, the Achievers, Niger Delta Coalition of People with Deformities, and Joint National Association of People with Disabilities.