President Muhammadu Buhari has signed into law the Copyright Bill and the Federal College of Medical Laboratory Science and Technology Bill.
Nasiru Ila, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (House of Representatives), in a statement on Thursday, said Mr Buhari signed the bills on 17 March.
The copyright bill, sponsored by Tokumbo Abiru (APC, Lagos), seeks to enhance the protection of copyright and neighbouring rights, provide for appropriate exceptions and improve the effective administration, regulation and enforcement of copyright in the digital environment.
The Federal College of Medical Laboratory Science and Technology bill, sponsored by the Deputy Speaker, Idris Wase (APC, Plateau), is a repeal and enactment bill.
Mr Ila said the assent to the copyright bill demonstrates the commitment of this administration to re-energising Nigeria’s creative economy and making it more globally competitive in the digital age.
“The principal objectives of the new law include the power to protect the rights of authors and ensure just rewards and recognition for their intellectual efforts; to provide appropriate limitations and exceptions to guarantee access to creative works.
“Also, to facilitate Nigeria’s compliance with obligations arising from relevant international copyright treaties and conventions; and enhance the capacity of the Nigerian Copyright Commission for effective regulation, administration, and enforcement,” he said.
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The presidential aide further explained that the Copyright Act expands the rights of authors, raises the sanctions for criminal infringements and more adequately addresses the challenges posed by digital and online use of copyright works.
He added that “The Act also provides specially for the needs of blind, visually impaired and print disabled persons to have access to learning and reading materials in accessible formats.”
On the second bill, Mr Ila explained that the bill has repealed the Federal College of Medical Laboratory Science and Technology, Jos, and enacted a new framework to enhance its operation.
Mr Ila said the new legislation will “make the Institution more effective in the discharge of its functions by strengthening the organisational framework, and to bring its provision in conformity with current democratic principles and operations of existing educational institutions, and the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
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