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NCPWD HINTS JAMB ON PROCEDURES TO REVIEW FREE EXAMINATION FORMS FOR PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES Following the recent pronouncement by the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) on free Examination forms for Persons with Disabilities in Nigeria, the Executive Secretary, National Commission for Persons with Disabilities, Dr. James David Lalu recently, during a working visit to Jamb headquarters in Abuja reeled out some measures to enhance the verification of candidates with Disabilities during application. Speaking at the event, Lalu expressed appreciation to the JAMB Registrar Professor Ishaq Oloyede for the laudable initiative towards providing a pedestal for candidates with Disabilities to compete favorably among their counterparts. “On behalf of over 35 million Persons with Disabilities in Nigeria, we are here today to thank you for upholding the Rights of Persons with Disabilities who wish to advance to Institutions of higher learning to build desired future for themselves" he said. Lalu also informed the meeting that it is now mandatory for all persons with disabilities to get captured with the Commission for disability certificate which will be presented to JAMB by candidates for eligibility to the free forms. He further explained that the electronic card certificate is embossed with a unique QR code for identification which will be scanned for confirmation of a persons with disability. The ES also hinted that the free form initiative has drawn the attention of many youths with disabilities to further their educational pursuit. "It has equally attracted persons without disabilities to begin to feign up disability in order to benefit from the scheme; this also led to the shut down of 50% discount on train tickets made available for Persons with Disabilities after discovering that some persons only lie about their Disabilities. Further to that, the Executive Secretary used the platform to reiterate President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s commitment to alleviate the sufferings of Persons with Disabilities by recently signing the African Protocol on Human Rights and the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.. Leading the frontiers of disability in Africa, Nigeria has now become a role model for countries such as Ethiopia and Malawi who have come to understudy the strategic approach to inclusivity in the social space of Nigeria. Earlier in his welcome address, the JAMB Registrar, Prof. Ishaq Oloyede applauded the ES for the innovation to make the process seamless through digitalization. He stated that this will help the examination entrance body to issue the special forms to the right candidates. The Registrar, however, asserted that applicants with disabilities will need to make payments for the forms at first and can get reimbursed after confirmation through the disability certificate. He also added that JAMB officials are doing their job with enthusiasm but, the experience of a staff of the Commission in dealing with disability issues will impact the overall output greatly. Professor Ishaq further suggested that a roundtable of the committee of Vice- Chancellors be conveyed to bring all the relevant stakeholders on board to stay abreast of the development. The high point of the event was the presentation of the Award of Excellence to the Executive Secretary by the Jamb Registrar as part of the contributions of JAMB to Inclusive Academic Excellence. Mbanefo JohnMichaels I Head Press and Public Relations Unit, NCPWD 7th February, 2024