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FG mandates sign language interpreters for TV stations

By Idowu Abdullahi,

As part of measures aimed at ensuring a pride of place for persons living with disability in Nigeria, the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, has directed the National Broadcasting Commission to implement the Broadcasting Code provision that mandates television stations to deploy sign language interpreters on their major news bulletin.

He explained that the need to ensure persons living with disability benefits from television stations important programs and have a sense of belonging in the scheme of things necessitated the directive in line the Federal Government commitment to prioritise and proffer solutions to issues affecting the PLWDS.

Mohammed also assured that the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration would stop at nothing in putting in place necessary policies to lighten the burden being faced by persons living with disability across the country.

“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,” Mohammed said in Abuja on Monday when he received executives of the Centre for Citizens with Disabilities on a courtesy visit to his office.

Aside that, the minister maintained that 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 PLWDS as well as highlight their capabilities, activities and contribution to the society.

He, therefore, called on the centre to participate in the creation of content on their activities, which he said, would be disseminated to the public through the media and the National Orientation Agency.

The minister expressed delight that Buhari has fulfilled his campaign promise to the PLWDS by signing the Discrimination Against Persons With Disability (Prohibition) Act into law and operationalizing it through the establishment of the National Commission for Persons with Disability, after a tireless struggle to
achieve it in the last 18 years.

Mohammed who described the present administration as friendly to PLWDS, said that they have been mainstreamed into all the
Social Intervention Programmes of government, including the Survival Fund where 10% of what is being administered by the Federal Ministry
of Industry, Trade and Investment was earmarked for PLWDS.

In his remark, the Executive Director of the Centre for Citizens with Disabilities, David Anyaele, commended the President for signing
the Discrimination Against Persons With Disability (Prohibition) Act 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 government ministries, departments and agencies to comply with a provision in the Act, which mandates them to reserve at least
5% of employment opportunities for persons living with disability.

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