Earlier this week, pioneer Nollywood distributor Gabriel Okoye, popularly known as Igwe Gabosky, narrated how piracy in the creative industry has made him bankrupt. He made the statement during a meeting with the officials of the Nigerian Police Force and key stakeholders in the creative industry.
The movie distributor was one of the beneficiaries of the Bank of Industry (BoI) intervention fund. The fund was designed for the development of the creative industry and to create the biggest media distribution company for intellectual property in Africa. Speaking about his experiences under the program, he shared that he has been unable to pay back the loan of N500M he received and the BoI is seeking to take hold of his property used as collateral. He stated that as a recipient of the loan he has faced significant challenges due to piracy and unflinching attitude towards movie piracy.
He laments of his first job ‘Half of a Yellow Sun’ and the second ‘30 Days in Atlanta’ by AY which was at the printing stage when it was hijacked by pirates and fake copies of the film released and sold out on the streets below the distribution selling price.
‘The third was October 1, by Kunle Afolayan; I was in South Africa negotiating for ITS distribution when I was called and told that the film was already on the streets.
Gabosky lamented that piracy has ended many lives and piracy is terrorism. He thanked Nigerian Police for their great attention to this serious issues faced in the industry. He raised the place of Alaba International Market in Lagos where people believe that the market is a sovereign state inside Nigeria where copyright laws cannot be enforced
Mr. Lai Mohammed, the Minister of Information and Culture, expressed the Federal Government’s intent to take drastic steps to stamp out piracy of intellectual property in Nigeria.
Other industry stakeholders at the meeting included the Executive Director of the National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB), Mr. Adedayo Coker, as well as the Chairman of Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON), Chief Tony Okoroji.
“It is a historic day for the creative industry and a warning for pirates to go and look for something else to do. This team will collaborate with the Police to ensure that wherever pirate may be in the country, they will fish them out and make life uncomfortable for them,” Chief Okoroji said.