Lagos - Gov. Babatunde Fashola of Lagos on Monday inaugurated the board of the state Office of Disability Affairs responsible for protecting the interests of people with special needs.
The seven-man board includes a blind person and three crippled people.
The boarded is headed by Mrs Tolulope Animashaun.
Fashola said at the inauguration in Ikeja that the board and the office should ensure that people with disabilities were not discriminated against.
The governor said that although Nigeria’s Constitution prohibited all forms of discriminations against people with disabilities, the society had not done much to adequately protect their interests.
He said that the government enacted the People with Disabilities Law in 2011 in an effort to correct the imbalance.
``We all know how the society has responded to the physically challenged; the society has always thought it is enough to give them alms.
`But, knowledge has shown that what they need is a level playing ground -- level enough to give them the opportunities to be able to carry on with their lives,’’ he said.
The governor said the government put more people with special needs in the board because ``they know where the shoe pinches`` and should be able to carry out the assignment better.
Fashola said that the government had ensured that roads and public places built in the past few years had facilities such as walkways and rams for easy use by people with disabilities.
He urged the board to carry out its assignment diligently to have much positive impacts on the lives of people with special needs.
Responding on behalf of the board members, Animashaun thanked the governor for his compassion for people with disabilities.
She pledged that the board would justify the confidence reposed on it by the government and the general public.