Home Governance NCD Craves US$10m Budgetary Allotment …Decries Rental Payment of US$300,000 Annually

NCD Craves US$10m Budgetary Allotment …Decries Rental Payment of US$300,000 Annually

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By T.R Dixon

MONROVIA: The new Executive Director of the National Commission on Disabilities (NCD), Samuel Sumo Dean, Sr., says to run a successful social welfare scheme for the poorest of the poor in Liberia, the NCD needs at least US$10 million-dollar budgetary allotment.

The new NCD Boss indicated that for now the NCD is in dire need of at least US$1.5 million to begin implementation of some of the viable interventions that our predecessor championed.

Speaking yesterday when he took over the affairs of the NCD as its Executive Director, he noted that his administration will decentralize implementation of the interventions.

He disclosed that NDC will have to do an enumeration of all Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) throughout the length and breadth of Liberia.

“A study done by the Swedish International Development Agency puts the population of PWDs in Liberia at 20% of the 5.3 million (LISGIS, 2022) population. If this estimate is anything to go by, then we have a population of about 1 million persons on our hands,” he said.

According to him, because they have not done disaggregated data of their own, they would not know if this research is overestimated or underestimated.

“That is why it is of vital importance to partner with the likes of LISGIS, UNFPA and other local and international partners to conduct our census and finally have real-time database that the government of Liberia and our international partners can use to speak from an informed perspective, as it relates to disability statistics in addition to that, we need a home” he said.
Mr. Dean noted that, in his personal opinion, the USD 25,000 (twenty-five thousand United States Dollars) that is being paid for this person’s property, building being used by the Commission is too exorbitant.

“To add insult to injury, the building is not accessible per world-class standards and the United Nations Convention on the Rights and Dignity of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD),” he said.

He pointed that, if one were to calculate $25,000 times 12, they will get to find out that the NCD has spent USD 300,000 ( three hundred thousand United States dollars) on this inaccessible private building. He said that amount does not include the $50,000 used to renovate it.

Mr. Dean added that this is why, they would like to use this auspicious occasion to plead with the government, through LACE, and their international partners, the United States, China, Sweden, The United Kingdom, Japan and even the United Nations to come to their aid and help them build a 21st Century Disability Model Resource Centre.

He stressed that the propose facility should be well equipped with an IT lab, Fashion house, Call Center, Detergent factory, Assistive Technology Rehabilitation Center, so that PWDs can earn sustainable marketable skills consistent with the ARREST Agenda and the government of Liberia Technical and Vocational Training policy which seeks to train 10,000 youths in Vocational skills.

“To that end, we would like to recognize the Disabled of Like mind for Good Governance, whose revolution to make the Liberian government to do its part and not fully depend on Traditional Welfare from Faith Based Organizations and Nonprofit and Nongovernmental entities, he noted.

“Compounding this is the need for the government, through the ad hoc Budget Hearing Committee to kindly augment our budget to at least USD 1.5 million,” he said.

He said his leadership would build on the progress made by our predecessor and provide an egalitarian society for the most marginalized, stereotyped, oppressed and discriminated in Liberia.
He emphasize that, NDC would need to conduct an enumeration exercise to create their own data bank; an exercise that will inform how many PWDs are there, what different categories of disability they fall in, their exact locality.

“This data will determine how many need employment, school, small business, affordable health care and social welfare” he said.

He emphasized that, they are persons with exceptionalities, and if their Empowerment Grant is managed from a sustainable angle, they will get the most results and the government, her partners, and the world will experience notable changes.
He expressed the need for logistics and their own home.

Right now, NDC has no cars and as PWDs, it is an ordeal for them to compete for cars with their nondisabled peers, compounding that is the socially sanctioned stigma that would not allow commercial motorists to give them preference.

He indicated that, as a result, they will always be late for work therefore, appeal to the government and its partners to provide their three Directors with cars ( an SUV and two pick-ups) and the rest of the staff with a 50 seated bus.

He said they cannot overemphasize the need for their own accessible home as they all know, PWDs have special needs and deserve reasonable accommodation.

“To get our job done effectively, we would need accessible restroom spaces, offices, conference rooms, and the works,” he said.
Speaking further he said they also need that home to double as a resource center to train our people with marketable skills to be formal sector contributors and nation builders.

“No country can afford to turn its back on 20% of its population,” he stressed.

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