The plight of physically challenged people in Nigeria for many years has been an unpleasant one in terms of their accessibility to basic services and amenities in the country. Access into public buildings, event venues, schools, banks, churches and so on has been a challenge for many physically challenged people because most of these buildings are not designed to accommodate easy access for people using wheelchairs, crutches, and other walking aids.
The announcement made by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) yesterday therefore comes as a huge relief. Ikechukwu Nwaoha, the bank’s Deputy Director, Consumer and Financial Protection Department, said the CBN will soon introduce graphics moderated automated teller machines (ATMs) to facilitate the participation of physically challenged persons in e-transaction.
Nwaoha also said that the illiterate populace would also be able to use the facility which, he added, would take care of all the concerns they had raised on the cashless policy at various seminars.
He disclosed that complaints about ATMs and Point of Sales (PoS) terminals constituted about 99 per cent of the grievances reported against financial institutions.
This is definitely a welcome development. I once met a physically challenged man who complained that his wheelchair could not pass through the security doors used by most banks in the country and as such, he hadn’t been able to enter a bank for some years now. He said whenever he goes to the bank, his account officer has to come and meet him in his car because his wheel chair cannot pass through the front security doors or the side staircase either.
This is calling on other government agencies and private service providers to please ensure that their services are accessible to all who want to use them, especially for the physically challenged.
What do you think about the announcement made by the CBN? How can the government ensure that accessibility to public facilities and buildings is made easier for physically challenged people in the society?
Please share your thoughts.
News Source: Daily Times