Reps, UBEC, publishers urge Buhari to sign amended copyright bill
The Nigerian Publishers Association (NPA), Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), and House of Representatives have appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to sign the amended copyright bill into law.
According to them, it will energise copyright enforcement and help the Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) to do more.
They made the call at the annual conference and General Meeting of the NPA with the theme ‘Redefining Publishing and Reading Culture in a Digital Era’ in Abuja.
The President/Chairman-in-council of NPA, Uchenna Anioke, recalled that both chambers of the national assembly had passed and transmitted the bill to the president for assent in July.
He said that the new bill provides for the effective regulation, protection, and administration of copyright in the digital environment in line with global best practices.
Commending the national assembly for passing the bill, he appealed to the president to give final and early assent to the bill.
Anioke said that the global economic downturn and the disruptions by the COVID-19 pandemic have forced many people and organisations to invent new ways of doing business.
He observed that globally, industry experts are inventing options for sustainable growth, stressing that publishers in Nigeria cannot be left behind.
He said: “Therefore, the publishing industry must move on with the times, and situate itself strategically for optimal gains. Let it be known that Nigerian publishers are ready to redefine publishing through publishing books in Nigerian languages from nursery to university levels.”
Deputy Minority Leader, House of Representatives, Toby Okechukwu, who also appealed to the president to sign the copyright bill, urged members of the NPA to follow up on the bill.
Speaking also, the Chairman of UBEC, Prof. Adamu Usman in his keynote address, argued that the notion of regression in reading culture among students might not be very correct.
He, however, said that a major solution to the poor reading culture in the country is for government to make Literature-in-English a compulsory subject in schools.