By The Glintstone
The Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) has called on all stakeholders within the creative industry to always engage with the commission in order to keep it busy.
The Director General of the Commission, Mr. John Asein, made the appeal when he received a donation of 20 pieces of HP laptops, an HP colour laser jet printer and a brand new Toyota Hiace bus in support of the operations of the commission on behalf of the NCC from the Musical Copyright Society Nigeria Ltd/Gte (MCSN) at its head office in Abuja on Wednesday, 13th October 2021.
The Director General who was extremely delighted with the donation, used the occasion to request the stakeholders in the creative industry to keep the commission busy especially in the area of enforcement of their rights.
“For me, this event is a sign of a new dawn, it confirms what we can achieve if we work together to grow the creative industry; it means that the creative industry in return should be able to grow the nation’s economy. Here we are strengthening the capacity of institutions, in this case, the Nigerian Copyright Commission. I will convey this to my own boss, the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, that we found one stakeholder again that has come out to support the Commission” Mr. Asein stated.
Continuing he stated that he knew that to whom much is given, much will be required and he will reaffirm the commitment of the Commission in the area that any player that has a vision to grow the sector would be supported so that we can have a win, win situation. Continuing, he stated “I have always said that the NCC as a regulatory agency, is not a task master, it is not one that will breathe down and make the Collective Management Organizations (CMOs), associations or anyone in the creative sector feel anyway alienated. I can share the commitment of the entire management of NCC to our goal, which is to continually help all the players in the creative sector, whether it is MCSN, Audio-Visual Rights Society (AVRS) or Reprographic Rights Society of Nigeria (REPRONIG). We have a duty to ensure that CMOs are strong, with the hope that those whose rights you are managing will feel the impact”
He admitted that the gesture of MCSN has overwhelmed him.
Before rounding off on his acceptance speech, Mr. John Asein gave all the Collective Management Organizations operating in the creative industry the assignment of keeping the NCC, especially the enforcement department busy saying, “One thing is, by this gesture you have fired my colleagues up. Let me drop this assignment that MCSN, PMAN, AVRS and REPRONIG should help us with. One is, I don’t think we should be seen idle, our officers should not just sit in the offices idle, we want to be on the field regularly, whether it is to clean up the mess of piracy in the fields of music, films, books or broadcasts we must be seen working every day of the week, if we have to go on surveillance on Sundays, we will do it. But we cannot rest until we flip the story and we see a turn around within the creative sector in a way that we can say that indeed we are changing the narrative for the copyright sector for growth of the industry we are here to serve. Thank you very much,” Mr. Asein concluded.
He was however, reminded by the Chief Executive Officer of MCSN, Mr. Mayo Ayilaran, that he promised two assignments, to which he responded, “Very good. The second one is to urge you to do everything to improve our corporate governance systems, our accountability systems and our transparency systems. That is why I decided that this presentation should not be done in the office, let it be done openly in the most transparent manner. “
Before the Director General of the NCC spoke, the Chairman of MCSN, Orits Williki, while presenting the items, explained that the items were donated to the NCC because MCSN wanted to enhance the operations of the regulator especially in the area of enforcement. Saying that, “the government cannot do everything”
The president of PMAN, Mr. Pretty Okafor, in his contribution said since day one his goal has been to ensure that the creative industry work together as one.
“And that is what we are witnessing here today. The industry has taken a gallop moving from yester years to a better position today. We the creators are going to help the administrators of our collective creativity.”
He promised to ensure all stakeholders in the creative sector work together.
On his part, the Chairman of AVRS, Mr.Mahmood Ali-Balogun, was thankful to the board of MCSN for the gesture saying, “It is not easy to want to donate to a government agency. Whether we like it or not, people see NCC as government. So the Chairman, the board, CEO and the entire management of MCSN, I commend you for this, it is a wonderful gesture. That is why at the public hearing at the Senate yesterday, stakeholders called for a better funding for the NCC”
The CEO of MCSN, Mr. Mayo Ayilaran, in his contribution said, “We do not think of what our government or nation can do for us, but we should rather be thinking of what we can do for our nation because when our nation is good we will be good and when our nation is better we too will be better. So this informs our decision to take a cue from this popular saying and we took this little step; we call it very little because we know that the needs of the Commission is very huge, the commission that covers the whole country, this is a drop of water in the ocean.”
Continuing, he added, “It is our desire to do more but the present economic situation and level of our operations do not presently allow. But we want to say with emphasis that this is work in progress. We believe that the efficient deployment of these resources will go a long way in improving the efforts of the NCC in the creative sector because it is our desire that the creative sector is positioned, as it was said yesterday, that it is a major revenue earner and it is our collective duty to make this realistic so that when the National Assembly is making a budget, there is a good chunk of the budget going to the creative sector. However, we cannot hope to achieve this if all of us sit back waiting for government to dole out money to and do everything for us. So we as individuals, organizations, associations must join hands to see how we can support our regulators and the government to achieve that aim”.