By Ajuma Edwina Ameh
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has issued a directive to the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), to implement the Broadcasting Code that mandates television stations to deploy sign language interpreters in their major news bulletin for the benefit of persons living with disability.
The Minister disclosed this when he received executives of the Centre for Citizens with Disabilities in his office in Abuja on Monday.
Mohammed said his ministry would collaborate with the Centre in the implementation of Section Two of the Discrimination Against Persons With Disability (Prohibition) Act, by making provisions for the promotion of awareness regarding the rights, respect and dignity of persons with disabilities.
“I have also directed, within my ministry most importantly, the issue of television stations having sign language interpreters and by tomorrow, I can assure you that a directive will go out to television stations pointing their attention to the relevant provisions of the Broadcasting Code.
” I am sure that in a few weeks time, you will begin to see the difference,” he said.
The minister promised to highlight their capabilities, activities and contributions to the society just as he called on the Centre to participate in the creation of content on their activities, which will be disseminated to the public through the media and the National Orientation Agency.
Mohammed expressed delight that President Muhammadu Buhari had fulfilled his campaign promise to persons living with disability by signing the Discrimination Against Persons With Disability (Prohibition) Bill into law and operationalizing it through the establishment of the National Commission for Persons with Disability.
“Persons living with disability have been mainstreamed into all the Social Intervention Programmes of government, including the Survival Fund where 10 per cent of what is being administered by the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment is earmarked for persons living with disability.”
In his remarks, the Executive Director of the Centre for Citizens with Disabilities, Mr David Anyaele, commended the President for signing the Discrimination Against Persons With Disability (Prohibition) bill into law and for the establishment of the National Commission for Persons with Disability in order to promote their welfare and social well-being.
He called on ministries, departments and agencies to comply with a provision in the Act which mandates them to reserve at least 5 per cent of employment opportunities for persons living with disability.