The federal government has issued a five-year notice for public buildings to construct ramps and lifts to protect the physically – challenged persons in the country.
The minister of power, works & housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola, disclosed this in Abuja during the unveiling of National Infrastructure Maintenance Framework (NIMF). Fashola noted that President Muhammadu Buhari, raised the bar for construction, services and a new way of life for Nigerians when he signed the law to protect people living with disability from discrimination and exclusion.
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The minister suggested that public buildings must modify the entire toilets as well as build sidewalks on the roads to enable the physically challenged use the roads without colliding with vehicles.
According to him, “Our airports and parking lots in buildings must become compliant with international best practice by providing corridors and facilities for people living with disabilities at arrival and departure points, while a minimum number of slots clearly designated must be provided for vehicles owned by people living with disabilities.”
The minister maintained that the new law provided an opportunity for re-designing, remodelling and retrofitting all federal government assets nationwide in compliance with Buhari’s directive.
He noted that it was the responsibility of Nigerians to utilise the opportunity provided through the policy document by improving their expertise.
Fashola maintained that the framework would be the basis for the award of maintenance contract following the existing procurement law. He noted that it would provide a window of opportunity for small businesses who are into facility management and for young graduates of building technology, architecture, engineering as well as technical schools to register for the contracts.
The minister stated that the framework would also provide credible data such as lettable space and value of a property that could form the basis of economic decisions or actions in emergency periods.