PMAN partners Spanish embassy, NCC, others to maximise music profitability
Towards making its age-long campaign of making the music pay a reality, as well as tighten all the loopholes and revenue leakages in the Nigerian music industry, the Performing Musicians Association of Nigeria (PMAN), recently hosted a music roundtable in Lagos, in collaboration with the Nigeria Copyright Commission (NCC) and Musical Copyright Society Of Nigeria (MCSN).
The roundtable, which was part of a three-day Vis-à-vis Music Festival recently organised by the Embassy of Spain in Nigeria, was held under the theme, Maximising The International Dimension Of Music As A Vehicle Of Culture.
According to the PMAN President, Pretty Okafor, only registered members of the music organisation shall benefit from the collaboration and other music activities initiated by PMAN, “owing to the fact that all musicians/practitioners are supposed to register with PMAN, which is the only trade union approved by the federal government to oversee the affairs of music in Nigeria.”
Okafor explained that, “Nigerian music is being used in Spain, but nobody is getting anything from them. So, if we have a collaboration, backend connectivity with our technology, we will be able to monitor our music in Spain.
“In Madrid, 75 per cent of the songs they play are Nigerian music, so with this collaboration, we are going to be making a lot of money and not only until we go over there to play in concerts; the major thing is the residual income. The residual income is what brings wealth to our economy and makes our musicians rich.”
On the workability of the deal, he said: “I have faith in Nigeria. I am the only successful musician that hasn’t left the country; I am here making sure that our entertainment industry grows.
“I was on the floor of the National Assembly when the copyright bill was passed, then we pressured the presidency to get it out. So, I believe there is so much we can do here. I believe that with collaboration and unity, we can achieve whatever we put our minds to.”
The PMAN president continued: “We have a lot of talent in Nigeria, we have more talent than we have oil, but how do we create a cultural exchange with the talent we have? How do we export our talent, what are the structure or stages and how do we monetise the talent? We can generate over N15 billion from the entertainment industry, but how do we create a structure so that the generation of that money will reflect in our GDP? That’s why we need to continue to discuss and strategise and monitor our talent.”
Speaking at the event, the Spanish Ambassador to Nigeria, Juan Ignacio Sell, said: “When you put Nigeria and music in the same sentence, everything makes sense; it means something great. So, we are here with a programme, which we’ve been running through our public diplomacy institution, that’s Casa Africa, and we have been doing this for years in different African countries, with the objective to help international artistes.
“Some may think Nigerian music does not need help to go to the world, but what we do is that we implement this programme in two folds; one is to offer young Nigerian musicians the opportunity to get professional exposure, contact with Spanish festivals organisers. We want a programme that will allow music professionals in Spain and Nigeria to talk to each other.
“Nigeria and Spain share two things which, are creativity and diversity, and that brings a lot of opportunities for us to work together. Our message is very clear. We are ready to support any initiative. I listen to Davido and the rest, but the important thing is that with the upcoming musicians, the talent has a broad distribution in Nigeria and it’s not only the big names; it’s the music.”
On the financial side of the relationship, he said: “Just for live music, organisers of festivals, tours, concerts gather 0.6 of the GDP, so you can imagine what music and culture represents in a country like Spain and it’s the same in Nigeria. Tourism-related activities amount to 11 per cent of the Spanish GDP and 13 per cent of employment. We bring this to Nigeria to help contribute to Nigeria and exploit the immense amount of talent in Nigeria.”
In his contribution, the DG of NCC, John Asein, said: “This is the beginning of a dialogue that will not end today. When we played the two national anthems, it summarises what we are talking about and I asked myself why we expressed ourselves through music, but here we are making statements between two different countries through music. It shows the centrality of music in the movement of culture.
“Now, we have a copyright act; interestingly, it’s been a long way coming. The act will not only protect the physical space, but also made it easier to track and deal with abuses online. Our commitment is to make it work, to clean the space for creatives to be able to produce and also to ensure that everyone investing in the creative sector gets a sufficient return on their investment.
Asein observed that culture and music are intertwined, adding, “While music is one of the vehicles to disseminate culture, it is also an expression of culture, an integral part of the culture of any people. Copyright is the oil that makes the creation and distribution of music frictionless. If we must continue to produce music, we must have functional and efficient copyright in place and it helps in the sustainability of that industry so, we must make sure that the music sector is not only an event for culture but also a vehicle for the inflow of wealth for creatives.”
On the collaboration, he said, “This will improve Nigerian music tremendously. Creator doesn’t have to worry much whether it’s a physical space or online. The NCC now has the power to enforce online, power to take down infringing materials. The law has been upgraded, which was last reviewed in 1999; it will benefit everyone in the creative sectors,” he assured.
Notable among guests at the roundtable are Spanish Deputy head of mission, Juan Torres Reus; Consular General, Abuja Patricia Gomez Lanzaco; Consular General Lagos, Daniel Losada Millar; Spanish collective management organisation SGAE represented by Vincent Sanchis Morera; music producers and festival directors from Spain. Other are MCSN GM Louis Udoh, PMAN 1st and 2nd Vice President Sunny Neji, Zakky Azzay, GoCreate President, Asha Gangali, ace broadcaster, Olisa Adibua, Festivals Promoter/Producer and Inspiro Productions, Ayoola Sadare; Representatives of Banwo and Ighodalo law firm and other prominent stakeholders.