In a bid to providing stress-free access in communication with the disability community, the management team of the National Commission for Persons With Disabilities led by the Executive Secretary, Mr. James David Lalu, today 16th of September, 2022 met with the leadership of National Communication Commission in Abuja.
In a statement signed by Head Media and Publicity Unit (NCPWD), Mbanefo JohnMichaels I, Mr. Lalu restated the urgent need to incorporate the communication needs of PWDs across the country.
The Executive Secretary took time to reel out key demands which will ultimately benefit the entire community of persons with disabilities.
Still agitating for inclusivity of PWDs in the Communication stream, the Commission Boss drew the attention of the meeting to the provisions of the 2018 Act.
“It will interest you to know that Persons with Disabilities have an array of experts in ICT who can come on board to showcase their abilities in technology, make impacts like their other counterparts in the industry.
The Executive Secretary in addition suggested that the use of Video- Relay Service (VRS) will be of a tremendous benefit to persons with hearing issues if introduced.
This service, he said though, requires a considerable portion of data for it to be quite effective but, will also help solve the challenges of 3rd party interference on privacy rights of the Deaf persons.
“Sometimes the call center or customer care tries to reach a deaf but, he can only see the call without being able to respond to the conversation from the caller” he pointed out.
Lalu then enjoined NCC to assist in spreading the advocacy around the stakeholders in the communication sector and even at the global stage.
He also underpinned the importance of having dedicated and standardized smart lines strictly to handle issues on disabilities and short codes for voice messaging.
Lalu further commended the NCC for donating 84 Assistive Devices to some schools Nationwide.
Reacting to the concerns of the Executive Secretary, the Executive Vice Chairman NCC, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, who was represented at the event by the Director, Human Capital and Administration, Mr. Usman Bala expressed his pleasure at the timely visit and assured the Delegation of taking the right steps in accommodating persons with disabilities in the communication sector.
He, however announced that NCC has recorded a total of 200 million subscribers on the telecom lines with over 150 million internet users in Nigeria.
“May I also authoritatively inform you that the ICT sector has recently contributed 18.4% to the GDP in Nigeria.
Danbatta also hinted that NCC is already in compliance with the 5% employment quota for PWDs in all MDAs as stipulated in the 2018 Act.
“Some of our staff are Persons With Disabilities and we do not discriminate against any of them” he reiterated .
In order to widen the reach of the NCC, the CEO further stated that there are 24 emergency centers already established to respond timely to requests from Nigerians across the States.
We are equally waiting for another round of vacancy declaration in the organization so that we can give more opportunities to Persons with Disabilities,” he said.