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Blind Community lauds Buhari for signing copyright bill into law

L-R Executive Secretary NCPWDS James Lalu and Director General Nigeria Copyright Commission Dr John Assein during the news conference on Thursday. Photo Credit: Julian Osamoto/Radio Nigeria .

The Nigeria Association of the Blind (NAB), on Thursday, lauded President Muhammadu Buhari for assenting to the copyright bill into law which removes legal barriers for persons with disabilities.

At a news conference in Abuja, the President of Association, Ishiyaku Adamu, said the challenges of the reading experienced by the blind and other disabled persons would be effectively addressed.

The Copyright Bill with the provisions of the Marrakesh Treaty, was signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari, on the 17th of March, 2023.

According to the President of the Nigeria Association of the Blind, Ishiyaku Adamu, with the extant copyright law, printed materials can now be produced for non-commercial purposes in an accessible format for people with disability.

In his word ” The World Health Organisation 2011 Report identified inappropriate teaching materials and methods of assessment as one of the barriers to education for children with disabilities”.

Director General of Nigeria Copyright Commission Dr John Assein pointed out that Limited availability of accessible books for the blind, visually impaired persons and print disabled persons had remained a huge set back to their participation in other sociocultural life.

“I wish to reassure you that the Nigerian Copyright Commission is already consulting on how to ensure that the special exception for the blind in the new Act translates to real benefits for the intended beneficiaries. Publishers should therefore rethink their business models to embrace inclusive publishing”.

Programme Manager, Social Inclusion, Sightsavers Esther Angulu, agreed that the treaty removes the barriers created by copyright law which prevent books and other published works from being copied without permission from the copyright holder.

The Executive Secretary, National Commission for Person’s with disability, James Lalu lauded President Buhari, other stakeholders and National Assembly for the legislation and promised to ensure provision of printing machine for effective service delivery.

Reporting by Julian Osamoto; Editing by Adeniyi Bakare