THE Deputy Governor of Akwa Ibom, Mr Moses Ekpo, has called for the establishment of copyright offices in all the 36 states to further develop the creative industries and contribute to the economy.
Ekpo, who was pioneer Chief Executive Officer of the Commission, made the call at the flag-off of the 30th Anniversary Celebrations of the Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) on Monday at Omenka Art Gallery, Ikoyi, Lagos.
“So far, I observed that the commission has offices in only 14 states, including Akwa Ibom. Therefore I call on more state governments to be more supportive of the creative industry,” he said.
The deputy governor then urged all state governments to provide basic support and accommodation for the establishment of copyright offices in their states.
Ekpo also noted that the commission lacked adequate funding for its operations in spite of the fact that the commission’s mandate had been enlarged in the last 30 years.
“I am worried that despite the fact that the commission’s mandate has been enlarged in the last 30 years from being a mere administrative agency to a regulatory and enforcement outfit with additional responsibility to prosecute offenders, I understand that the funding profile of the commission has not improved, rather it has dwindled.
“Therefore, I urge the Federal Government to complement its positive gesture by matching words in the area of getting the commission adequately funded for its onerous responsibility,” he said.
He said that there was evidence that copyright had impacted positively on the nation’s economy.
According to him, it is a fact that Nollywood has become a money spinner and creative artistes such as musicians, authors, sculptors, and artists are beginning to earn from their creativity.
“Nigeria no longer takes the back seat in matters of copyright and intellectual property since we have been opportune to serve the General Assembly of the World Intellectual Property Organisation in Geneva twice.
“It is my expectation that nothing should hinder our avowed commitment to ensuring that Nigeria catches up with global best practices as it is obtained in advanced polities,” Ekpo said.
Ekpo commended all the board members and staff of the commission for continuing to uphold the benchmark of diligence, dedication to duty and commitment to the success of the organisation.
Earlier, Chairman, Senate Committee on Judiciary, Sen. Opeyemi Bamidele, said that the National Assembly would look into various areas of law that needed reforms to further develop the nation’s creative industry.
“There is a need to take an agency like NCC beyond envelop in our budgeting system.
“Funding should be based on the organisation’s need and their vision therefore, it calls for government to accord them greater priority which simply includes greater budgetary allocation.
“In doing this, the National Assembly will have to work with the executive arm of government, especially with the Federal Ministry of Justice, when it is time to do the appropriation,” he said.
The Chairman of NCC Board, Mr Tonye Jaja, said that the copyright industry in Nigeria had done a lot in terms of fostering a global image of the country’s culture.
Represented by Mrs Jidai Mamza, Jaja stressed the need to build respect for the right of authors and creators in view of their enormous contributions to nation building.
“The NCC is committed to making the copyright industry effective, rewarding and globally competitive.
“In line with our mandate, we shall continue to engage with our stakeholders to promote effective rights management, proactive enforcement against rights violations and building linkages at national and international levels.
“This will be to ensure the visibility of Nigeria as a leading nation on copyright and intellectual property protection,” Jaja said.
The chairman also expressed the NCC’s readiness to partner with stakeholders, to create greater awareness among important policy institutions.
“This will help to raise the profile of the copyright system in national discourse and take the creative industry in Nigeria to the next level,” Jaja said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that NCC was established on August 19, 1989 to support the creative industries to maximise their potentials of adding value to Nigeria’s economy.
– Aug. 19, 2019 @ 18:41 GMT |