The Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Solomon Arase has assured the intellectual property community in Nigeria of his full support and that of the Nigerian Police in the war against the infringement of copyright of Nigerian creative people. Mr. Arase said that he is proud of the impact that Nigerian music, movies and other creative content are making across the world and that the police has a duty to ensure that the right environment is created for the Nigerian creative industry to thrive so that the nation receives full economic and social benefits from the activities in the sector.
The Inspector General of Police was speaking in his Abuja office on Thursday August 27 when the leadership of Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON) led by the organization’s Chairman, Chief Tony Okoroji met with the IGP. Addressing the IGP, Chief Okoroji said “It must be clear to everyone in Nigeria now that the days of one hundred dollars a barrel of crude oil are gone forever. Our nation therefore has an obligation to pay serious attention to alternative sources of income and employment for our teeming population. One area where Nigeria has tremendous comparative advantage is in entertainment where our products are sweeping the world. Unfortunately, whether at home or across the world, much of these products are pirated. What it means is that neither the creators nor the nation receives any meaningful benefit for their consumption”
In continuation, Chief Okoroji said, “It will therefore be sacrilege if with the reality of the moment the Nigerian nation does not declare a full and sustained war against all types of piracy at home and raise strong diplomatic issues with the various countries in which the theft of Nigeria’s intellectual property products are going on openly and unabated”
Mr. Arase who was full of praise for Chief Okoroji for his dedication to the important national cause assured him that the instruments of the Nigerian Police under the new dispensation will be activated without delay to ensure that the problems are addressed. The IGP and the COSON Chairman went on to discuss and agree on the immediate steps to be taken to ensure that infringers of the copyright of Nigerian creators no longer sleep easy.
On the COSON team to the meeting with the IGP were the COSON General Manager, Mr. Chinedu Angus Chukwuji; two members of the Board of the society, Mr. Dare Fasasi better known as Baba Dee and Mrs. Azeezat Allen. Also on the team was the COSON representative in the FCT, Mr. Segun Awosanya.
Commenting on the meeting, the COSON GM, Mr. Chinedu Chukwuji said, “It is a new day. The meeting was very business-like. The IGP showed sharp understanding of the issues and the consequences to the Nigerian nation if no impactful action is taken to deal with the scourge of copyright infringement. He recognizes that under Nigerian law, the infringement of copyright is not just the illegal replication of physical products but includes the public and commercial deployment of copyright works. At COSON, we are happy with the new partnership with the Nigerian Police. We have promised the IGP full cooperation. Anybody who knows COSON will tell you that we do not joke when it comes to the interest of our members and affiliates. We have given our word, we will keep it and those giving us trouble should take note”.