The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has reaffirmed its commitment to initiating policies that would assist Persons Living With Disabilities (PLWD) in the communications service providers.
The Director Zonal Operations Department of NCC, Amina Shehu said this at the Inclusion of Persons With Disabilities Awareness and Enlightenment Programme held in Suleja, Niger State.
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Shehu who was represented by Isa Olatinwo, said the need for everyone to have access to ICT services is the basis for the inclusion of a forum for people living with disabilities.
“The key objective of the programme is to ensure that in the provision of communications services, there is improved accessibility and inclusiveness for person(s) living with disabilities in Nigeria”, she said.
She further stated that to join the information-rich countries of the world, the government of Nigeria pursued a continuous programme and aggressive market liberalization policy that has made Nigeria one of the most liberalized telecom markets in the world.
The Director noted that the full spectrum of ICT requires everyone to have equal opportunities for participation in everyday socio-economic life in the digital economy which include ICT products such as mobile phones, computers, and ICT devices.
Speaking on NCC initiatives for PLWD, she said “in recognition of the above, the NCC through its consumer-centric approach to regulation, has undertaken several initiatives geared towards assisting the people with disabilities in communications services provision.
“This includes an Industry consultative meeting on service provision with respect to the disability group which was held in July, 2008 in order to sensitize both operating companies and equipment manufacturers on the need to jointly address challenges faced by people with disabilities”.
Furthermore, she stated that “to bridge the existing divide , we should constantly embark on some initiatives to transform our society from social exclusion to an all-inclusive society that guarantees communications services for all”.
The Director of Social Development Suleja Local Government Area Jubril Basallah who represented the Chairman of the Local Government, commended NCC for the initiative.
He urged the NCC to extend the sensitization to other persons in the society so that they can also be protected and be well informed on the uses of telecoms.