The Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) has called on publishers and other relevant stakeholders to ensure that books and educational materials are made in accessible formats to visually impaired persons (VIPs).
The Director-General of NCC, Dr John Asein, gave the advice in a statement issued in Abuja on Friday by the commission’s Deputy Director, Public Affairs, Mrs Ijeoma Egbunike.
Asein said this while delivering a goodwill message to mark Nigeria’s ratification of the Marrakesh Treaty.
“It is important that we continually find ways to ensure that the copyright system helps all Nigerians, irrespective of disabilities, to realise their full potential.
“The domestication of the Marrakesh Treaty under the Copyright Act would promote access, push back the book famine in Nigeria.
“It will also ensure quality education for a large section of the society who live with a print disability,” the DG said.
According to him, agencies in the knowledge ecosystem should encourage inclusive publishing and ensure that more books are available, particularly for blind, visually impaired and print-disabled children.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that The Marrakesh VIP Treaty is a treaty on copyright adopted in Marrakesh, Morocco on June 27, 2013, with 93 contracting parties covering 119 World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) Member States.
The treaty seeks to remedy a “book famine” for people who are unable to access standard print materials.
Before the implementation of the treaty, the World Blind Union estimated that over 90 per cent of copyrighted works were not produced in accessible formats; in developing countries.
The treaty was ratified by Nigeria on Oct. 4, 2017 and domesticated in the Copyright Act, 2022.