Earlier this month, the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission, Ms. Yewande Sadiku, paid a courtesy visit to the Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC). NIPC is the agency responsible for promoting, coordinating and monitoring investment activities in Nigeria.
During the visit, which took place on March 14, Ms. Sadiku, who was received by Mr. Afam Ezekude, stated that NIPC viewed NCC as a strategic partner in the task of promoting investment in Nigeria, particularly as NCC oversees the creative industries, which represents a fairly large proportion of Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Mr. Ezekude also acknowledged the NIPC a strategic partner of NCC. The DG further disclosed that in the period between January 2011 and February 2017, the Commission in the discharge of its mandate had achieved the following:
- Carried out 295 anti-piracy raids throughout Nigeria;
- Confiscated over 8,005,941 (Eight million five thousand and ninety-one) units of pirated copyright materials;
- Arrested 644 suspects;
- Seized 28 containers of pirated works imported into Nigeria (containing books, CDs, DVDs, etc.);
- The estimated monetary value of intercepted pirated materials stands at N8.2 billion (which represents income which would have been lost to the operation of pirates);
- Secured 56 criminal convictions (some with the maximum period of imprisonment without the option of fines) and has more than 175 cases pending at various divisions of the High Court;
- The Copyright e-registration scheme, established in 2014, facilitates the effective documentation of works and subsequent transfer of rights;
- The establishment of Collective Management Organizations (CMOs) over all sectors of the creative industry for the collation and distribution of royalties to rights owners in the preceding 4-year period generated more than N4 million;
- In 2012, the Commission engaged in several legislative initiatives, the first one being the reform of the Copyright Act, to bring it up to international standards and enable the fulfillment of treaty obligations, the second being the copyright (levy on materials) order in respect of certain materials capable of being used to reproduce copyright works. Moneys collected are to be paid copyright owners as equitable remuneration for the unaccounted reproduction of their works;
- Carries out vigorous public enlightenment campaigns through various media and sensitization of the demographics that comprise the stakeholders in the creative sector.
The NCC reports that Ms. Sadiku commended the Commission for its achievements in spite of notable challenges in the area of funding, affecting the adequacy of personal and operational facilities.
She particularly expressed admiration for the results the CMOs had achieved, as well as for the Commission’s enforcement activities. Ms. Sadiku further stated that she was committed to further helping shape investment and fiscal policy measures that will be of benefit to both agencies in encouraging and maintaining a climate that fosters investment in Nigeria.
Mr. Ezekude and Ms. Sadiku both exchanged publicity materials from their respective agencies.
The visit ended with an interactive question and answer session.