The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami SAN has vowed that he will immediately ensure the reform of the copyright system in the country so that the system can effectively protect and promote creative enterprise in the nation and ensure that the Nigerian economy benefits from the creative ingenuity of Nigerian citizens and those interested in investing in the creative industries.
The Minister who was speaking in his Abuja office on November 25 at a meeting with a delegation of the Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON) led by its Chairman, Chief Tony Okoroji, said that as part of the reform, the Nigerian Copyright Commission will be energized without delay so that it will pivot from its present analogue approach to the enforcement of the copyright law to a new and muscular digital approach.
While addressing the Attorney-General, Chief Tony Okoroji said that his delegation was in Abuja at a time of national economic distress to engage critical policy makers in the Buhari administration on how to harness the potential contributions which Nigerian creativity can make to the development of the Nigerian nation.
In the words of Chief Okoroji, ‘For a long time, there has been too much talk without action and people are getting disillusioned. In the present economic environment, the Nigerian nation must recognize the necessity to fully deploy the substantial comparative advantage which Nigeria possesses with its creative industries. It is doable to use this sector to provide hundreds of thousands of well-paying jobs for the teeming masses of Nigerian youth who parade the streets of our country almost hopelessly and which hopelessness invariably attracts them to become laborers in the devil’s workshop’.
According to the COSON Chairman, the era when the Nigerian economy was almost completely dependent on oil and gas is inthe nation’s past and will not come back and Nigeria’s future will have to be built on the creative ingenuity of the Nigerian people. He said that the ingenuity can be seen in how wide Nigerian music, movies, literature, fashion, programming, and similar products of the creative endeavour are in demand across the world. Okoroji emphasized that the nation must not only ensure that the demand for Nigeria’s creative products around the world is met but that in meeting the demand, appropriate value is received by Nigerian citizens.
The minister pledged that the creative sector will soon see developments arising from the meeting.
While in Abuja, the COSON delegation also had in-depth meetings with the Minister of Communications, Barrister Adebayo Shittu and the Minister of Information & Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed. The delegation was also received by several Directors-General of different Federal government agencies.
The COSON team to Abuja included Afro juju star, Sir Shina Peters; Rub-a-dub maestro, Ras Kimono; Gospel music star, Kenny Saint Best and Queen of love, Azeezat Allen.
Also in the delegation were COSON General Manager, Mr. Chinedu Chukwuji and COSON Public Affairs Consultant, Mrs. Lucy Ajayi.