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NCC adopts new strategies to stem copyright offences

By Bridget Chiedu Onochie, Abuja
24 July 2019   |   3:03 am
The Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) has affirmed its commitment to dynamic operational strategies for effective discharge of its statutory mandates pursuant to the Copyright Act.

Tonye Clinton Jaja

The Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) has affirmed its commitment to dynamic operational strategies for effective discharge of its statutory mandates pursuant to the Copyright Act.

Chairman of the commission, Dr. Tonye Clinton Jaja, who spoke at the board’s maiden meeting, disclosed that in a bid to revitalise the regulatory and enforcement thrusts of NCC, various programmes and activities have been approved.Jaja pledged the readiness of the board to support the Director-General of NCC, Mr. John O. Asein and his management team in their effort to evolve policies that would fast-track the growth of the commission and ensure the sustainable development of the copyright-based industries in Nigeria.

Earlier, at a welcome dinner organised for the board by NCC, the chairman expressed satisfaction with the board’s composition, which he observed, was representative of the creative sector as provided under the Act.Assuring that the board will not interfere in the routine administration of the commission, Jaja underlined the need for the board to cooperate with and support the D.G. in the administration of the commission to enable him bring his experience of over 30 years to benefit the copyright industry.He said: “I speak for the board. We will work together with the commission to make a positive impact on the fortunes of the creative industries.”

In his remarks, the D.G. expressed appreciation to President Muhammadu Buhari for giving the Commission a board with seasoned and committed stakeholders with proven interest in their respective sectors as envisaged by the Act.While expressing confidence that board members will deploy their wide experience towards strengthening the commission and the creative sector, Asein assured that the Commission under his watch would continue to partner all stakeholders in order to complement the Federal Government’s economic policy on ease of doing business.

He, however, expressed concern over the widespread challenge of piracy and assured that NCC would step up regulatory and enforcement interventions to check both offline and online piracy of copyright works across the country.

The D.G. indicated that the fight against piracy would be intensified across the copyright industries and reiterated the commission’s resolve to provide safe corridors for the distribution of genuine books.He also warned that subsequently, booksellers, proprietors and school authorities that patronize pirated books would be prosecuted.

He stated that NCC was already addressing the neglect of the artistic sector of the copyright industry, adding that measures will be put in place to activate the provisions of the Copyright Act to enable authors of artistic works benefit from the resale of their creative works by auctions.

In his remarks, a member representing sound recording industry on the board, Rev. Bayo Awala, assured that the board would rise to the challenge of paucity of funds, which has been a major hindrance to the fight against piracy. Noting that piracy has the ability to cripple the creative industry, Awala held that the board would devise creative ways of overcoming the challenges of the industry to enable right owners enjoy the benefits of their works.

Another board member, Salihu Uthman Isa, representing cinematographic films, remarked that it was a new dawn for the copyright sector as the board was ready to work to change the face of the creative industries positively.

In addition to the D.G, NCC and the Chairman, other members of the board include Sir Jesse U. Odu, representing literary works; Mr. Marie Towo Austin-Odigie, a representative of Federal Ministry of Justice; Comptroller Gagiyo Mohammed, representing Nigeria Customs Service and Mr. Okon Udo-Udo Umoh, representing Federal Ministry of Education. Others are Mr. Bongos Ikwue, representing musical works; Mr. Danjuma Ladan Muhammad, representing broadcasts and others.

Dr. (Mrs.) Alewai Jidai Mamza, representing artistic works and Mr. John C. Abang, representing Nigeria Police Force.NCC Board was inaugurated by the former Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami (SAN) on May 28.