On July 6th, the Nigerian government announced that it had presented a new bill, The Copyright (Repeal) Bill, to the country’s National Assembly for approval. The proposed legislation, which represents the first significant reform of Nigeria’s copyright system in decades, is intended to strengthen authorities’ capacity to respond to the copyright challenges the country is facing.
John O. Asein, Director General of the Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC), outlined the principal aims of the bills in a statement, affirming that the legislation intends to: “(a) protect the rights of authors to ensure just rewards and recognition for their intellectual efforts; (b) provide appropriate limitations and exceptions to guarantee access to creative works; (c) facilitate Nigeria’s compliance with obligations arising from relevant international copyright treaties; and (d) enhance the capacity of the Nigerian Copyright Commission for effective regulation, administration, and enforcement.”
He continued, adding: “the Commission is hopeful that the bill will receive favourable attention” and that the NCC “appeals to all stakeholders and partners to support the process.”
Hon (Chief) Uchenna Cyril Anioke, National President of the Nigerian Publishers Association, said: The Nigerian Publishers Association (NPA) commends in more ways than one, the Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) for its commitment towards the amendment and transmission to the National Assembly of Nigeria, a bill to alter positively the Copyright laws.
We are consciously aware of this impactful effort and it is worth every ounce of energy. The Nigerian Publishers Association appeals to members of the National Assembly for an accelerated passage of the bill into law. Such a passage, ultimately, will greatly enhance the enforcement of copyright breaches thereby bringing intellectual theft to its barest minimum.
Gbadega Adedapo, Chairmanof the Nigerian Book Fair Trust and IPA Executive Committee Member said: I am using this medium to congratulate the Nigerian Copyright Commisision (NCC) as the federal government has transmitted the new copyright bill to the National Assembly for passage into law.
At the Nigerian Book Fair Trust, we are using this medium to plead with the National Assembly to expedite action in passing the bill into law in no distant time. This would send a great caution to book pirates and copyright violators through effective sanctions and stiffer penalties as appropriate.