Chris Steven, Abuja
The Nigeria Police is to set up anti-piracy unit in all the 36 states of the Federation as well as the Federal Capital Territory to combat the piracy of intellectual property in the country, the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, announced in Abuja on Monday.
The Inspector-General made the announcement following a request from the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, who led a delegation of Creative Industry stakeholders on a courtesy visit to his office in Abuja on Monday.
He nominated three senior police officers, including two Deputies Inspector-General of Police, Force CID and Operations, to work with the Ministry of Information and Culture as well as the stakeholders to prepare a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for the renewed and sustained battle against piracy.
”The time for talk is over, we should go into action,” Idris said.
Earlier, the Minister said he led the creme de la creme, movers and shakers of the Creative Industry to meet with the Inspector-General to solicit his support for a sustained fight against piracy, which is preventing the practitioners from reaping the rewards of their labour.
”I want to thank the police for helping us to combat piracy and to solicit for more cooperation in the fight against piracy,” he said.
”Piracy is a crime. You cannot take the sweat, labour and intellectual work of an individual, reproduce and sell it without his or her consent.”
Alhaji Mohammed extolled the contribution of the Creative Industry to the nation’s development, saying it contributes 1.42% of the GDP, employs millions of people and puts Nigeria on the global map.
”The works of actors, actresses, musicians, fashion designers, etc, have travelled widely and they (practitioners) are good Ambassadors of Nigeria. However, their industry is under threat and we must find a way to save it,” he said.
The Minister said he recently hosted Creative Industry stakeholders at a roundtable and a conference, and that the biggest complaint from both meetings was the negative impact of the activities of piracy on the industry.
Alhaji Mohammed said the stakeholders in the Creative Industry have resolved to support the police to achieve the goal of stamping out piracy.
The Minister was accompanied by the Director General, National Commission for Museums and Monuments, Mr. Yusuf Abdallah, Prof. Shyllon Folarin, a Consultant with UNESCO, Mr. Tony Okoroji, Chairman of Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON), Abdullahi Maikano Usman,
President, Motion Picture Practitioners Association of Nigeria (MOPAN), the Umbrella body of film makers in the North, MOPAN’s immediate past President Sani Muazu, Prof. Bankole Sodipo of Babcock University, Ms Tundun Aderibigbe of the House of Tara, Ms Eunice Omole of Ebony Life TV as well as officials from Nollywood and Inview Technologies.
Chris Steven, Abuja