Nigeria taking concrete steps to end piracy – Lai Mohammed

Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed [Photo: Daily Trust]
Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed [Photo: Daily Trust]

The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, declared on Monday in Abuja that the Federal Government is walking its talk and taking concrete steps to stamp out piracy of intellectual property.

The minister said this when he declared open the first interface meeting of the police and major stakeholders in the creative industry to fight piracy.

“This meeting is evident that government’s commitment to fighting piracy and placing the creative industry in its rightful position is not just about talk.

“We are carrying along all the stakeholders in the industry and my job here is to inaugurate this meeting.

“We believe that with the calibre of stakeholders here and two Deputy Inspectors-General of Police (DIG) representing the Nigeria Police Force, you will be able to agree on the way to put an end to piracy,’’ he said.

The minister stressed that piracy, if left unchecked would become a monster that would destroy the entire creative industry.

He recalled that one of the major challenges raised at the Creative Industry Summit held recently in Lagos was the menace of piracy.

Mr. Mohammed said that in implementing some of the resolutions at the summit, he led a team of stakeholders to the Inspector-General of Police, to seek collaboration with the law enforcement agency in fighting piracy.

The minister added that the aftermath of the interaction with the police was the interface meeting on ending piracy.

He tasked the meeting to ensure that whatever form of enforcement to be adopted, it must be regular and sustained.

Speaking in the same vein, Adedayo Coker, the Executive Director of the National Film and Video Censors Board, said that the interface meeting was an indication that the industry’s players were ready for the fight against piracy.

Tony Okoroji, the Chairman of Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON) said “It is a historic day for the creative industry and a warning for pirates to go and look for something else to do.”

“This team will collaborate with the Police to ensure that wherever pirate may be in the country, they will fish them out and make life uncomfortable for them,” he said.

Igwe Gabosky, one of the pioneer Nollywood distributors seized the opportunity of the meeting to narrate how pirates wrecked his company and made him bankrupt.

He said he was one of the beneficiaries of the Bank of Industry (BoI)’ intervention fund in developing the creative industry.

Gabosky said he was empowered by BoI with over one billion naira to create the biggest media distribution company for intellectual property in Africa.

“The first job I was to distribute was “Half of a Yellow Sun’’.

“But, before I could finish printing, pirates had released the fake copies of the film on the streets and sold them for little money.

“The second job was “30 Days in Atlanta’’ by AY; Pirate also took over and distributed pirated copies of the films on the streets and AY was crying.

“The third was October 1, by Kunle Afolayan; I was in South Africa negotiating for ITS distribution when I was called and told that the film was already on the streets.

“The activities of the pirates crumbled the distribution companies and the N500 million I had already collected from BoI; I could not pay back till date.

“The Bank is now trying to take over all my property which I used as collateral,’’ he said.

Gabosky said that many people in the industry had died because of frustration inflicted on them by pirates.

“We know these people that are pirating these works; Piracy is like terrorism.

“If you go to Alaba International market in Lagos, there are people that believe that the market is a sovereign state inside Nigeria where copyright laws cannot be enforced.

“I am glad today that the Nigeria Police has risen up and decided to answer us,’’ he said.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the police was represented at the meeting by two DIGs – Hyacinth Medugu, the DIG in charge of Criminal Intelligence and Investigation and Habila Joshak the DIG in charge of Operations.

According to Mr. Medugu, pirates are killers who send the owners of pirated intellectual works to early graves and they should be treated as murderers.

He gave assurances and commitment of the I-G to work with the stakeholders to stamp out piracy.

Some of the stakeholders at the meeting included a Nollywood producer, Tony Princewill and the President of Motion Picture Practitioners Association of Nigeria, Abdullahi Maikan-Usman.

Also at the meeting were Tundun Aderibigbe from House of Tara, a beauty outfit and Bankole Sodipo, a lawyer.

(NAN)


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  • Olatubosun

    Yes o…
    Lai Mohammed is a great man

    • stackCrawler

      Excellently great man

      • dele20

        Is Alhaji Lai Muhammad

  • Olatubosun

    Lai Mohammed you are too much sir

    • stackCrawler

      Too too much…

  • daygea

    A welcome development from the Honorable Minister.

    • front man

      Yeah

      • stackCrawler

        Surely

    • Olatubosun

      Yes o.. God bless our honorable minister of information

      • stackCrawler

        God bless him big

        • dele20

          Amen

    • stackCrawler

      Very welcome

    • dele20

      Honorable minister for information is the best minister among the ministers

  • dele20

    Kudos to HMIC

    • stackCrawler

      Big big kudos to HMIC. We support him all the way

  • front man

    Great job from HMIC our artists should be proud of HMIC for doing everything possible to end piracy in Nigeria

    • stackCrawler

      Well said

  • front man

    Your haters will continue to stumble while you grow more in wisdom

    • mamaT

      big amen to dat

      • stackCrawler

        Gbam

    • stackCrawler

      That’s a sure thing

    • dele20

      Amen

  • front man

    Continue the good job you started

    • dele20

      HMIC is really performing

  • mamaT

    well done sir…..u are such a brilliant minister ever! kudos to u

    • stackCrawler

      Big kudos to HMIC

      • dele20

        Yes oooo…

    • dele20

      HMIC’s effort is always unrelenting at making this country great

  • Olatubosun

    Good initiative by our honorable minister of information

  • Olatubosun

    Our honorable minister of information is working hard to uplift this country of ours….
    Nigeria has been sanitized

    • stackCrawler

      Gbam

  • Olatubosun

    We appreciate the efforts of our honorable minister of information

    • stackCrawler

      Yes indeed; HMIC is really working hard to put things in place

    • stackCrawler

      We completely appreciate

  • Night Crawler

    This is a welcome development, actors and actresses won’t see this, but they raise their voice when Alh Lai Mohammed is trying to create jobs for Nigerians by banning music videos or reality shows produced in another country but aired in Nigeria

    • stackCrawler

      You have spoken well. We stand with HMIC all the way

      • dele20

        Yes oooo

    • dele20

      Alhaji Lai Muhammad always has good plan for the entire Nigerians, the actors and actresses are now appreciating the effort of the minister Lai Muhammad

  • stackCrawler

    HMIC all the way

    • dele20

      Kudos to Lai Muhammad

  • stackCrawler

    Alh Lai Mohammed always on point and keeping us up to date

    • dele20

      The updates of we masses is Alhaji Lai Muhammad

  • progressive

    This is a welcome development, I know that this is going to go a long way

    • dele20

      I also concur with you

  • progressive

    It seems those pdp e rats are all been absence it shows that they dont have meaningful to talk about..

  • progressive

    I will comtinue to give kudos to lai Mohammed for the good work he has been doing since he resume office it has shown that alot have change since he resume office

    • dele20

      The best minister is still Alhaji Lai Muhammad

  • progressive

    I will comtinue to give kudos to lai Mohammed for the good work he has been doing since he resume office it has shown that alot have change since he resume office..

    • dele20

      Alhaji Lai Muhammad is still the best minister

  • progressive

    Those who think they can mock the mock the minister they are all joking because they all need to go for a recourse .

    • dele20

      Every eye is now seeing the truth of the minister for information, he is working great as to sanitize corruption and make Nigeria great

  • progressive

    God will continue to strengthen lai Mohammed because he has beeb up and doing

    • dele20

      Amen oooo, HMIC is really working great

  • Night Crawler

    Those trying to go or are into piracy should stop now or have themselves to blame in the long run, because FG are committed in stopping piracy for good

    • dele20

      Corruption is absolutely against by this present government

  • SpeakOut

    Piracy has been the major problem in creative industry, it has to be dealt with to the last, infringement into someone else’s product is against the law, everyone has to come together to achieve this fight against piracy.