The Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) has pledged it’s continued support for the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA) towards ensuring adequate protection for the works of authors in line with the provisions of the Copyright Act.
The Director-General of NCC, Mr. John O. Asein, gave this assurance during deliberations with the executives of ANA on a courtesy call at the Commission’s Headquarters in Abuja recently.
Mr. Asein charged ANA to reach out to other critical stakeholders to forge a formidable partnership to curb the prevalence of book piracy in Nigeria.
He also called for the review and adoption of the National Book Policy to address all aspects of the book sector, including rights management and protection.
The Director-General noted that the rights of Authors in Nigeria must be adequately protected to guarantee quality writing and sustain a book industry that would promote quality education.
The Director-General observed that most authors were either oblivious of their rights or were negligent in their dealings with other players in the book chain, thereby making it easier for pirates to have a field day exploiting their copyright protected works while they get little or no return from their intellectual investments.
He urged ANA to support the NCC in its bid to ensure that more authors understood the basics of copyright and how best to check the unwholesome practices of pirates and other parasites in the book industry.
The Director-General further expressed displeasure that despite the book industry being the very reason for the global emergence of the copyright system, “literary authors do not have much to show for their labour”. He described the visit of ANA as a wake-up call for all stakeholder in the sector to pay more attention to the rights of authors in the country.
While thanking Yusuf Ali, SAN for his consistent support of authors and the activities of ANA, he called on other well-meaning Nigerians to support the association and join the renewed effort to make copyright work for the writer.
The National President of ANA, Dr. Camillus Chima Ukah who led the delegation of the Association’s Executives, solicited for the Commission’s support for the celebrations to mark the 40th anniversary of ANA this year.
He commended the Director-General for his spirited efforts towards the fight against piracy in the country, the high point of which was the recent seizures of container loads of pirated books at the Tincan Port in Lagos, resulting from the proactive collaboration of NCC with the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS).
Dr. Ukah noted that the unwavering efforts of the DG and his team have impacted positively on the national anti-piracy campaign. He assured that ANA would intensify its collaboration with the NCC in the fight against piracy and other copyright abuses.
The Director-General gave assurance of the Commission’s support towards the success of the 40th anniversary celebrations, promising that “in view of the status of ANA as a critical stakeholder in the copyright industry, the Commission will continue to initiate relevant policies and programmes that would add value to the association.”
Some NCC Directors in attendance were: Director, Planning, Research and Statistics (PRS), Mr. Bitrus Dauda; Director, Administration, Dr. Idowu Ogunkuade and Director, Public Affairs, Mr. Vincent A. Oyefeso.
Other ANA executives present were: Vice President, Hajia Farida Mohammed; Executive Secretary, Mr. Hycinth Obuseh; General Secretary, Mr. Maik Ortserga; FCT Chapter Chairman, Mr. Taiwo Akerele; Public Relations Officer North, Mr. Umar Yogiza, Jnr. and Secretary, Chinenye Nnadigo.
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