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The emergence of Nigeria’s Discrimination against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Act 2018 is apparently a landmark development in the field of disability governance in the country. Indeed, the new disability anti-discrimination legislation contains important provisions that are ordinarily adequate and ideal for protecting disability rights and promoting active participation of people with disabilities in Nigeria in the mainstream of society. Regardless of this, this study argues that the realities in Nigeria’s socio-cultural and economic environments, which are particularly antagonistic to disability and disabled people, would most likely pose fundamental challenges to the effective and accurate application of the law, ultimately leading to its failure to achieve its expected primary objective. In other words, the study vividly perceives the likelihood that the Discrimination against Persons with Disabilities Act may end-up merely as a “law just by name” or a compendium of Nigerian Federal Government’s “good intentions” towards PWDs, just like the numerous legislations successive governments in the country have doled-out in the past, which could not achieve any meaningful results in terms of the specific purposes for which they were promulgated. In view of this, the study concludes that the emergent disability legislation in Nigeria may not be able to concretely change the subsisting narrative regarding the plight of people with disabilities in the country.
Keywords: Human rights, persons with disabilities, disability rights protection and inclusion, inclusive development, Nigerian Disability Act 2018, socio-cultural and economic environments, Nigeria