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Persons with disabilities, women and men from oil impacted communities in the Niger Delta Region have called for inclusion of women and persons with disabilities in policy formulation in the Country.

They made the call in a public forum in Port Harcourt on the UN Guiding Principles on Business, Human rights and other environmental Frameworks.

A Social Inclusion Advocate, Miss Joy Ubong in an interview, decried the non-inclusion of persons with disabilities in policy formulation.

She pointed that considering persons with disabilities does not only mean making provision for the physically challenged only, since there are clusters of persons with different needs in the disability community.

Miss Ubong added that it is essential for needs assessment to be carried out in the community before policies are made, citing the instance of redesigning the Naira notes which she said should have been on an embossed bill to reflect consideration of the blind.

Counsellor representing ward four, Umuechem, in Etche Local Government Area of Rivers State, Mrs. Faith Amadi and the leader of Kupe Foundation in Abua/Odual Local Government Area of the State, Mr. Kikpoye Mark also decried the level of neglect oil impacted communities suffer due to ignorance and deprivation.

  One of the Organizers, Dr. Emem Okon of Kebetkache Women Development and Resource Centre, told Radio Nigeria that Educating and sensitizing women and other vulnerable persons in the community, will aid better engagement with the Government and other investors for economic growth.

Resource persons, Dr. Emenike Umesi, Vincent Dania and Henry Eferegbo pointed that the UN Policy for Business, Human Rights and the Petroleum Industry Act, have policies that allow women and other community dwellers the right to economic empowerment.

They however added that getting the right information is key for Sustainable Development.

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