The Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) has expressed determination to stamp out piracy in the West African country.
NCC director-general John Asein.
The declaration was made by the commission’s director of public affairs, Vincent Oyefeso, at the 30th anniversary of the NCC in Ilorin on Wednesday, pulse.ng reported.
“The NCC is not just a compliance agency, it has the power to arrest and prosecute anybody caught pirating other people’s intellectual properties,” Oyefeso said.
“Copyright owners could institute civil suit against copyright offenders, apart from the criminal suit the commission normally institutes against such offenders.”
One of the guest speakers at the event, Dr Kayode Adam of the University of Ilorin’s faculty of law, said copyright law in Nigeria was outdated and modelled on the the laws set by the British colonial government. He called for Nigerian copyright law to be updated in order to meet the challenges of the digital era.
NCC Kwara State coordinator Justina Akinwumi said: “We are here to champion the cause of economic diversification in Nigeria through creativity. The commission operates through surveillances, inspections, raids, investigations and diligent prosecution of suspected copyright offenders.”
She identified a poor legal framework, piracy, porous borders and a wanting education system as the main threats to the actualisation of the NCC’s aims.
“For us to defeat these monsters that have been preventing the creative sector from contributing its quota to economic development in Nigeria, all hands must be on deck. We must all be ready to take the cause of creativity in Nigeria to the next level,” Akinwumi said.
The NCC was first established as the Nigerian Copyright Council in 1989 under Section 34 of the country’s Copyright Act.