Okoroji backs Sanwo-Olu on suspension of executive secretary LEFCB
Chairman, Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON), Chief Tony Okoroji, has commended Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State for what he described as the swift suspension from office of Mr. Dele Balogun, Executive Secretary of the Lagos State Film & Video Censors Board (LEFVCB) for announcing an unlawful five per cent levy on producers of musical and audiovisual works in the State.
Chief Okoroji said that Governor Sanwo-Olu’s action is commendable because, in today’s Nigeria, it is not usual for governments to rescind decisions made by their officials even when it is clear that the decisions are blatantly wrong.
“When I heard the announcement, I was aghast. I wondered which law gave this government official the power to impose this unworkable special tax or levy on innocent citizens trying to deploy their creativity to earn a living. This is especially crazy in this season of the coronavirus when the income of many people in the creative industry has been crushed and the government should be supporting these citizens.
“It appears to me that the creative industry is now seen as a soft target by all sorts of dubious people and their collaborators in government who flex their muscles and believe that they can control and milk practitioners in the industry for quick money”
The former President of PMAN noted, “I have spent a significant part of my career fighting lawlessness and abuse of power. It appears that many officers in our governments believe that upon appointment, they have acquired the powers to arbitrarily make laws and impose their shallow ideas on everyone. On their whims and caprices, they impose conditions that make life difficult for innocent citizens when their real job is to make life easier. These people become mini national and state assemblies and hob-nob with crooks and con-men with whom they device a thousand schemes to fleece the citizens”
Okoroji said, “The suspension is very good but the Executive Secretary has to be tried so that the lesson is learnt that Nigeria is a nation of laws and that no one has unrestricted powers to impose pain on the people”.