By Friday Olokor
The Nigeria Association of the Blind on Thursday called on the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), to assent to the newly passed Copyright Bill to remove legal barriers for persons with print disabilities.
The organisation lamented that many Nigerians are currently being deprived of the huge benefits that others enjoy due to their disabilities.
The President of NAB, Ishaku Adamu, who made the plea during a press conference in Abuja said that the domestication of the Marakesh Treaty through the assent to the new Copyright Bill would make Nigeria, a society with equal reading opportunities for both print disabled and nonprint disabled members of the community.
According to him, it is crucial that Nigeria domesticate the treaty in view of the many benefits to print disabled persons.
Adamu said, “These people are currently being deprived of the huge benefits that others are enjoying because of the increasing availability of reading material on every imaginable subject. In fact, every book by Nigerian authors like Wole Soyinka, Chinua Achebe and Chimamanda Adichie which have been produced in accessible formats in other countries are not available to Nigerians with a print disability. This lack of reading material affects writing quality and general communication.
“Nigeria has signed the UNCRPD, therefore voluntarily committing itself to comply with the provisions of the convention. This means that Nigeria owes its disabled citizens the duty of providing works and materials in accessible formats as provided in Article 9, 19, 21, 24, 31 and 33.3 of the UNCRPD..’’