By Ralph Chris-Izopku
The newly inaugurated Governing Board of Nigerian Copyright Commission NCC, has affirmed its commitment to the management of dynamic operational strategies to reposition the Commission for effective discharge of its statutory mandates pursuant to the Copyright Act.
The Board Chairman, Dr. Tonye Clinton Jaja, during the maiden meeting in Abuja yesterday, disclosed that in a bid to revitalise the regulatory and enforcement thrusts of NCC, the Board has approved various programmes and activities of the Commission in that regard.
The NCC board Chairman was quoted in a statement signed and made available to newsmen by the Director, Public Affairs Vincent A. Oyefeso of the commission.
Dr. Jaja pledged the readiness of the Board to partner with the Director-General of NCC, Mr. John Ohi Asein and the Management team to evolve policies that would fast-track the growth of the Commission and ensure the sustainable development of the copyright-based industries in Nigeria.
At a welcome dinner earlier organised for the Board by the NCC, the Chairman expressed satisfaction with the Board’s composition which he observed was representative of the creative sector as provided under the Act.
“Assuring that the board would not interfere in the routine administration of the NCC, Dr. Jaja underlined the need for the Board to cooperate with and support the Director-General in the administration of the Commission to enable him bring his experience of over 30 years to benefit the copyright industry”
“I speak for the Board; we will work together with the Commission to make a positive impact on the fortunes of the creative industries,” the Board Chairman stated.
In his remarks, the Director-General John Ohi Asein expressed appreciation to President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, for giving the Commission a Board with seasoned and committed stakeholders with proven interest in their respective sectors as envisaged by the Act.
While expressing confidence that, the Board members would deploy their wide experience towards strengthening the Commission and the creative sector, Mr. Asein assured that the Commission under his watch would continue to partner with all stakeholders in order to complement the Federal Government’s economic policy on ease of doing business.
He expressed concern on the widespread challenge of piracy and assured that the Commission would step up regulatory and enforcement interventions to check both offline and online piracy of copyright works across the country.
The DG noted that the fight against piracy would be intensified across the copyright industries. He reiterated the Commission’s resolve to provide safe corridors for the distribution of genuine books and warned that henceforth, booksellers, proprietors and school authorities that patronise pirated books would be prosecuted.
He stated that the Commission was already addressing the neglect of the artistic sector of the copyright industry, adding that measures would be put in place to activate the provisions of the Copyright Act to enable authors of artistic works benefit from the resale of their creative works by auctions.
Also speaking, a Board member representing sound recording on the Board, Rev. Bayo Awala, assured that the Board would rise to the challenge of paucity of funds hindering the fight against piracy. Noting that piracy has the ability to cripple the creative industry.
Rev. Awala said the Board would devise creative ways of overcoming the challenges of the industry to enable right owners enjoy the benefits of their works.
While Comr. Salihu Uthman Isa, a Board member representing cinematograph films, remarked that it was a new dawn for the copyright sector as the Board sets to work to change the face of the creative industries positively.
In addition to the Director-General NCC and the Chairman, other members of the Board include Sir Jesse U. Odu, representing literary works; Mr. Marie Towo Austin-Odigie, representative of Federal Ministry of Justice; Comptroller Gagiyo Mohammed, representing Nigeria Customs Service and Mr. Okon Udo-Udo Umoh, representing Federal Ministry of Education; Mr. Bongos Igwue, representing musical works; Mr. Danjuma Ladan Muhammad, representing broadcasts; Dr. (Mrs) Alewai Jidai Mamza, representing artistic works; and Mr. John C. Abang, representating Nigeria Police Force.
It would be recalled that the NCC Board was inaugurated by the former Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami, SAN on 28th May 2019.