The Acting Executive Secretary of ARCN Prof. A.A. Voh (Jr) received Dr. Samuel Ankeli the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Disability Matters (SSAP-DM) and his Assistants; Mr Sunday Adebo, Mr Sylvanus Chia, Mr Andy Okwori and Mr Joseph Ooni in the company of Mr Ekong Edet the Special Assistant to the Acting Executive Secretary and Dr. Celestine Ikuenobe the Director Knowledge Management on the 15th of June, 2017 in his office at the Agricultural Research House, Mabushi, Abuja.
Dr Samuel Ankeli congratulated the Acting Executive Secretary and His management team on the good work they have been doing and also acknowledged his efforts and performance in helping the Government in its national development efforts through the revamping of the agricultural colleges and institutions in view of the various challenges facing us as a Nation.
He further briefed the Acting Executive Secretary of his principal reasons for the visit which included the following;
- To intimate the Council on the creation and existence of the office of the Senior Special Assistance to the President on Disability Matters (OSSAP-DM) and unveil the vision of Mr. President on having a more disability friendly Nigeria. The OSSAP-DM is charged with the sole responsibility of assisting the President on all matters relating to the welfare and well-being of the well over 25 million Nigerians living with various forms of disabilities by ensuring inclusiveness in:
- Governance and polity
- Poverty Alleviation
- Education /Scholarships
- Capacity Building
- Protection of fundamental rights and privileges
- Access to social infrastructure and
- All other critical issues as they emerge.
- To discuss possible areas of collaboration with the Council to help realize the above vision of Mr. President, which include amongst others;
- To request the Council’s support on the implementation of Mr. President’s programs and projects for PWD’s in Nigeria
- To create disability unit in ARCN to ensure the principle of inclusion
- To inform you of the employment inclusion policy minimum of 10% targeting PWDs and their family members
- Rehabilitation and reintegration of members of ARCN staff who become disable on active service
- To develop a strategy of reducing poverty and increasing agricultural productivity/food security by Persons With Disability (PWDs) in agricultural special training and empowerment programmes (Example: Tax free agricultural loans and grants).
- To encourage the “Disability Tree for Life Campaign Programme” through technical and logistics support.
In his response, the Acting Executive Secretary noted that Dr. Samuel Ankeli is a role model for persons living with disability and congratulated him on his appointment as SSAP-DM.
The Acting Executive Secretary briefed him on the mandate and functions of ARCN and its component research institutes and colleges.
The Executive Secretary noted that with over 25 million persons living with disability, the Country is obliged to engage him in one form of livelihood or another.
He noted that the ARCN system can provide opportunities for trainings and starter packs in agricultural enterprise for such persons. He hoped that the ARCN can partner with the office of Dr. Ankeli in implementing such programme.