Lalu advocates Copyright Bill amendment for disability inclusion

By Rosemary Ogbonnaya

The Executive Secretary, National Commission for Persons with Disabilities, Mr. James David Lalu, has said that the amendment of the copyright bill is meant to correct the prevailing imbalance between the need to protect the fundamental rights of Persons with disabilities to self-development and improvement.

Lalu, who made this known yesterday at the Senate public hearing on Nigeria’s Copyright Amendment Bill at the joint Senate Committee on Trade, Investment and Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, said that the commission is mandated to ensure free education for Persons With Disabilities up to secondary schools; providing educational materials and assistive devices for pupils in schools.

The ES reiterated that the Bill would ensure that there are access to educational materials for the Visual impaired with translation, transcribing a literary work into braille in large printed format to further assist the learning process of the visually impaired in the country.

Lalu further stated that in the bid to correct these imbalances, a vigorous task needs to be taken to consider the statutory exceptions to copyright protections and copyright infringements in the interests of national development for persons with disabilities in the country.

Finally the Executive Secretary, disclosed that President Muhammadu Buhari has ratified the Marrakesh Treaty in 2017 and demanded that the ratification be fully incorporated into the Amendment Copyright Bill in order to achieve a disability inclusive Nigeria for all citizens.

Earlier in his speech, distinguished Senator Michael Okpeyemi Bamidele, assured all stakeholders and participants that their contributions to the amendment of the Bill on Trade, Investment and Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters will be treated with utmost attention.

Other stakeholders in attendance were the Collective Private Organizations, Record Label of Nigeria, Actors Guild of Nigeria, Nigeria Communication Commission, Ministry of Justice, Royalty Association of Nigeria, Copyright Association of Nigeria, Performance Music Associate of Nigeria, Association of Movie producers and Movie marketers.