Lai Mohammed, the Minister of Information and Culture, has stated that the government would order the Nigeria Broadcasting Commission (NBC) to require public and commercial television stations to use sign language interpreters during important news broadcasts.
Mohammed stated this on Thursday, October 14 in Abuja at the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria’s 2021 Annual Lecture (FRCN).
After a participant at the ceremony, Monsurat Abdulwasiu pointed out that the deaf had been left out by the media, the Minister made the commitment.
“Only the Nigeria Television Authority (NTA) has a sign language interpreter during one of its news hours.
“In the other media platforms, there are no sign language interpreters even in the healthcare sector, no sign language in Nigerian hospitals.
“So, what happens to deaf people when they are reading news and when they are sick and go to the hospital.
“Does it mean that we are not entitled to information and healthcare? The government needs to look into this.”
Reacting to this, Mohammed said;
“I am very touched by the contribution of the young lady who said there is a need for sign interpreters during the network news and other major news belts.
“I am going to ask the NBC to direct all our television stations to ensure that there are sign interpreters in all television stations during their major news hours.
“This will not apply to only the Nigeria Television Authority, whether public or private television stations, they must comply with the directive.
“This directive will work both ways, it means the complaint of exclusion will be tackled and the persons with disability of hearing will also be included in programmes and policies of the government.”