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PWDs urge NCC to sanction erring telecom providers

Persons with Disabilities at the Sensitisation programme in Lafia. Photo: Chris Nyamtu

Persons With Disabilities, PWDs in Nasarawa State have called on the Nigerian Telecommunications Commission, NCC to sanction telecom service providers who fail to upgrade their machines to capture people with special needs.

Chairman, Nigerian Association of the Blind Mr Shugaba Oloshohu made the call during a sensitisation programme in Lafia the Nasarawa state capital.

The sensitisation which was organized by the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC was to provide the commission the opportunities to evolve regulatory policies towards ensuring that persons with disabilities have seamless access to Information Communication Technology services.

Addressing the participants, the Executive Vice Chairman of the NCC, Professor Garba Umar Danbata said the federal government was committed to developing new ways of providing equal opportunities for all citizens to participate in the digital economy given the enormous economic potentials endowed in the sector.

Represented by the Deputy Director, Zonal Operation of the commission, Mr Isa Olatiwo, Prof Danbatta called on telecommunication networks in the country to ensure satisfaction and inclusiveness in their services.

Students of Special School Lafia at the Sensitisation programme. Photo: Chris Nyamtu

Nasarawa State Chairman, Nigerian Association of the Blind, Mr Shugaba Oloshohu pointed out that most persons with disabilities face a lot of challenges, especially the blind due to the inability of their machines to capture their faces and fingerprints.

Other persons with disabilities Mrs Fidelia Christopher and Mr Fidelis Abimiku alleged that they face discrimination by some of the telecommunication companies any time they approach their offices for complaints.

They also stressed the need for NCC to prevail on the telecommunication companies to provide audio and voice prompt message services for blind subscribers in accessing their account balances and other information from their telephones.

Representatives of MTN, Mr Andy Esin and that of Airtel Mr Oluwasegren Olaoye who spoke on behalf of other telecommunication networks said they would report back to their head offices for the necessary attention.

Reporting by Chris Nyamtu; Editing by Abdullahi Lamino