The Nigerian Publishers Association(NPA), Booksellers Association of Nigeria have signed a Memorandum of Understanding(MOU) with Nigerian Copyright Commission(NCC) to sanitize the creative industry.
Chief Uchenna Cyril Anioke, President, Nigerian Publishers Association presented the Association’s stand to NCC for review of the MOU during the signing in Ajegunle, Lagos State, on Thursday.
He said that there was a need for the commission to look inward and critically into the agreement in order to caption the interest of the publishers.
“We are investing our intellectual properties into the sector, we need to reap from our investment.
“The policy of the government should caption, protect and secure the interest of the publishers for the progress of the creative industry.
“The step taking by the government is commendable but they should consider the Association’s viewpoints, ” he said.
Cyril Anioke urged investors and relevant stakeholders in the creative industry to play by the rules of selling books.
“Do the right thing, play by the rules of the Association and invest reasonably in order to reap significantly from your investment, ” he said.
However, Mr Emmanuel Abimbola, Executive Secretary, Nigerian Publishers Association, applauded government on the development in the creative sector.
According to him, the present administration in NCC has changed the narrative of the commission compared to how it was in the past.
He noted that the present regime is doing so much in fighting against piracy in the society.
“NCC has been proactive in addressing stakeholders challenges in the industry, they have been assertive in enforcing the law and very active and effective in their operations.
“With this development, the future of the publisher/publishing enterprise is bright and secured.
“I also commend the commission for working closely with publishers, booksellers and other relevant stakeholders in their policy and decision making, ” he said.
Abimbola urged parents and schools to desist from patronizing pirated materials.
He urged parents and school management to condescend with pubishing firms, or get the materials at the book shop.
“Patronize original works and desist from buying pirated books. Will you be happy not to reap from where you sow? No!
“Piracy is eating and reaping from where they did not sow, stop encouraging piracy, stop buying pirated materials, ” he said.
Abimbola added that piracy is the major devil affecting publishing industry in Nigeria. It is the major problem bedeviling the creative sector in the society.
He said that, what the pirates do is to steal the original works of publishers and sell in commercial quantities to the general public; as a result of that, it is affecting the profitability of the publishers.
“After investing so much on a work with lots of overhead expenses, piracy reaps the dividend of the work through their evil act, leaving publishers into a big loss.
“No dividend for shareholders, No appropriate royalty for authors and the government is being denied of her taxes.
“The higher the profit, the higher the taxes but piracy is reaping all the benefits, which is discouraging and alarming, ” he said.
Abimbola urged the government to provide a lasting solution to this perennial piracy challenges affecting the industry.
Also, Dr John Asein, Director General of NCC joined in the signing of the agreement with the publishers and booksellers in Lagos.
According to him, the event was also used to flag off NCC Monitoring and Documentation programme.
“The trauma, pain and anguish that piracy inflicts on right owners is unimaginable. The level of copyright piracy, particularly in the book sector, is unacceptable.
“With the signing of this MoU and the commencement of the monitoring and documentation programme, it is our hope that everyone will subscribe to a higher standard of vigilance and respect for copyright across all sectors of the creative industry, ” he said.
Earlier, Mr Emeka Chigbo, Chairman, Integrity Book Sellers Association of Nigeria, commends the development and urges NCC not to relent in its efforts at eradicating piracy out of the society.
Chigbo appealed to the commission to protect and caption the interest of both the booksellers and publishers in their subsequent policies.
“I appreciate this present administration of NCC for carrying along all the relevant stakeholders in their policy making.
“It shows that the industry is taking another new dimension and by the grace of God, we will all reap where we have sown in the industry, ” he said.
NAN reports that the booksellers at the signing include; Ajegunle Booksellers Association, Integrity Booksellers Association of Nigeria, Yaba Booksellers Association. The Nigerian Publishers Association is the umbrella body of publishers in Nigeria.