Changing Nigeria’s copyright narrative for wealth creation
The Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC), as the Federal regulatory and enforcement agency charged with all copyright matters under the Copyright Act, has said it is committed to a strong, balanced and efficient copyright system that is able to grow the creative industries and sustain today’s knowledge ecosystem.
Making this known recently was Mr. John Asein, NCC’s director general. In the last three decades, the creative industries in Nigeria have grown exponentially and the commission has also introduced various initiatives aimed at building a copyright system that would support them and guarantee return on their investment to ensure they contribute maximally to national development. While acknowledging that a lot still needs to be done to fully integrate the copyright system into the nation’s development plan, there is much about the creative industries in Nigeria to celebrate.
The Nigerian creative industry is currently estimated to contribute about 10 percent of the nation’s GDP, a feat, the NCC boss said, “we hope would increase significantly in the next decade.”
According to him, “all over the world, intellectual property, including copyright, is increasingly playing a prominent role in national development and most nations in today’s knowledge-driven economy are leveraging on the development potentials of their copyright industries.”
The essence of the commission’s 30th anniversary, therefore, goes beyond the commission. “It is an opportunity to draw attention to the strength, resilience and indefatigable spirit of the Nigerian creative sector. We are not only talented as a people; we are also a nation that is endowed with immense human resource,” Asein said.
The Federal Government, under the present administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, has introduced various policies and programmes aimed at tapping into the soft power of the creative sector. Taking a cue from the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) and the Policy on Ease of Doing Business, the NCC has continued to provide the enabling legal and regulatory environment to grow the sector and guarantee return on investment.
Against this backdrop, the 30th anniversary of NCC, marked in collaboration with core stakeholders in the creative industry, Asein said, “was an avenue for the commission to appreciate their contributions over the years and reaffirm its commitment to building a copyright system that serves their interests. With the partnerships that have been built, there is no doubt that together, we have begun to change the copyright narrative with the objective of growing the nation’s creative wealth.”
At the anniversary, NCC indicated its commitment to “Changing the Copyright Narrative for Wealth Creation”. According to the NCC boss, “our primary goals remain: Strengthening human and institutional capacity for better service delivery; Improving the policy and legal framework for a functional copyright system; Embarking on a well-coordinated strategic enforcement plan to significantly reduce piracy; Initiating appropriate and effective schemes for better rights management and regulation; Promoting respect for copyright through awareness and education amongst right owners, users, policy makers and officials; Supporting national and international processes to build a more balanced, development-oriented copyright system; and Compliance with the rules of probity and good governance to ensure that Nigeria gets premium value for its copyright system.”
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