December 1, 2016 — A new Bill will be presented by the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture to the National Assembly with the goal of establishing the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). The NEA will offer support and funding for artists and their projects. In addition, two Bills will be presented including the Bill seeking to set up the Motion Picture Council of Nigeria (MOPICON).
Earlier this year, the Minster of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed set up a 29-member MOPICON Committee notwithstanding opposing views on government intervention in Nollywood. The Committee has presented their report to the Minister.
Last week, when the Minister met with officials of various organization in Nigeria including the Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON), National Broadcasting Commission, Nigerian Television Authority, and the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria, he confirmed that three Bills that will affect the creative industry in Nigeria are set to be presented to the National Assembly.
“We are putting three Bills before the National Assembly. The first is the National Endowment for the Arts, the second is the Motion Picture Council of Nigeria because we believe that we must create that enabling environment for the creative industry and the third is the Bill for the Establishment of the Tourism Development Fund,” he said.
On the issue of Private Copy Levy, the Minister acknowledged that Private Copy Levy is a veritable instrument that will guard against the infringement of intellectual property right but emphasized that the law has to be reviewed to conform with current realities.
“Yes, it is correct that Section 28 of the Law provides for it. You are also right to say that in Year 2012, the Attorney General actually signed the document but unfortunately there are issues that we all need to sit down together to resolve before the Private Copy Levy Law can even be implemented. One which we all agreed is that when this law was signed, the level of technology is not what it is today. If you want to implement that law, you are going to run into a lot of challenges.”