Copyright Commission promises to pull youths out of drugs
The Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) has said it is determined to pull African youths out of drug addiction and other vices.
Director General of the commission, Dr John Asein stated this at the weekend in Abuja while receiving the Thomas Sankara Leadership Prize for Integrity and Transparency bestowed on him by the Youth Partnership for Africa’s Development, (YOUPAD).
Dr Asein said one cannot talk about the future of any country or continent without giving space to the youth to express themselves.
According to him, “It is our duty to provide space for the youth to have expression. We will always do whatever we can to add value to help the youth to express themselves and make the best of their talents.”
He said it is unfortunate that many youths are taking to drugs as a way of expressing themselves. “It is important to note that some people go into such unwholesome activities because their energy is not being channelled to the right course,” he said. “If we can channel the energy of African youth to their creative abilities, you might be able to give them a reason to stay out of drugs and to stay sane. This is because someone who is into poetry or into drama, and knows that he needs to finish a play or a production, will not use that time to go and start sniffing because that will derail his thoughts.
“So if you give them the belief that using their brain to create will bring some reward to them, then it is likely that you will take some of them out of drugs.
“That is where the NCC comes in through the protection of intellectual property rights of creative people so that they can reap the benefits of their works. So I think we can work together to encourage those in the entertainment and creative field to begin to send stronger messages on why we must stay out of drugs and other vices.”
He thanked YOUPAD for the honour but said he was more interested in the partnership between YOUPAD and NCC, hoping that the partnership will grow and lead to more fruitful outcomes.
“We need to help our youths because Africa now is like the new discovery of the world and the world is looking to Africa for content and creative output. I think we have a lot to do in this area to build Africa for Africans and of course for the benefit of Africans which means we must be able to export our talents and our intellectual products,” Dr Asein said.
He urged them to lead the campaign for respect for copyright, moving away from copyright piracy, respect for intellectual property and rewarding creative talents.
“The strength of Africa is the youth. We can move that forward especially now that we are talking about the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA). If we don’t empower our youth to be able to key in whether it is in FinTech or whatever, to be able to use that platform, we may end up creating a free trade zone and people will come from outside and use that platform to their own benefit,” he said.
He promised that NCC will be on the alert to see how it can empower the youths to take advantage of the AfCFTA.
Earlier while presenting the award, YOUPAD in an address read by its Secretary-general, Mr Kewul Suleh, from Ghana, said Dr Asein was chosen for the award because of his dedicated service to God, Humanity and Country, which it said is in line with the Thomas Sankara Ideology.
According to the organization, “Your hard work and dedication to national development; Positive transformation of the Commission since your assumption of office as Director General in 2019; your positive contributions to publishing and protection of copyright, intellectual property development in Nigeria as well as the provision of a safe environment for creative works to be produced ensuring that their copyrights are protected by your team, set you apart as a man of honour and deserving of recognition.”
YOUPAD said the Thomas Sankara Leadership Prize for Integrity and Transparency is strictly reserved to recognize and appreciate the great African leaders of courage and integrity who have distinguished themselves by contributing in their various fields of endeavour towards the development of their various countries which will cumulatively contribute towards building a prosperous and independent Africa of our collective dreams.