‘Consumer preference for cheap goods fuelling piracy’
The Director-General, NCC, John Asein, said apart from funding, it is faced with a huge consumer group that is reluctant to accept its mandate aimed at eradicating piracy in the country.
Asein at a breakfast meeting organised by the Nigerian American Chamber of Commerce (NACC), said: “When we tell consumers that piracy steals from the creator, kills creativity and destroys the economy, they do not care. All they say is that it feeds them and gives them cheap materials.
“Our biggest challenge today is awareness and consumer enlightenment for that matter. In our fight against piracy, we see consumers preferring the pirated products to the original products. If it is cheaper, they will buy. We have a consumer group that is reluctant to accept your message.”
He stressed that the commission is also faced with the challenge of inadequate manpower to fight the menace, saying that presently, with staff strength of about 350 nationwide, fighting piracy would be difficult.
“Our staff strength is very insufficient, but it is not about the numbers, but about the capacity of the personnel. We are working on strengthening our capacity so that they will be able to deliver.
“We have done everything to educate the consumers to see why they should act as anti-piracy agents. We are trying different initiatives to end piracy and I think we are gradually winning the war by sending the message to one person at a time,” he added.
He said going forward; it would be deploying the use of intelligence and strategic partnerships with key stakeholders in the industry to combat piracy, urging consumers to work with the commission to change the narrative.
“We must change the narrative not just looking at statistics and numbers; we must go deeper and ensure that we get to the roots of piracy. We must be proactive, inclusive, driven by intelligence and we must be technology compliant to address piracy in the country. It is not only about raids and catching pirates or arresting a pirate. We must see pirates go to jail,” he stated.
He said plans are ongoing to continually engage and build linkages at the technology, business, and enforcement levels.
“We cannot also enforce effectively without the help of the police, we are also planning to work with Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), NAFDAC, foreign agencies, customs and the Nigerian Police Force (NPF) to work as a team to build strategies to combat piracy,” he averred.
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