Nigeria moves to boost economy through Copyright protection

Nigeria moves to boost economy through Copyright protection

Copyright

By Philip Clement

The French Development Agency (AFD) and the Nigerian Copyright Commission are collaborating to boost Nigeria’s economy by strengthening Copyright protection for the products of the creative industry of the country.

At a conference organized in Abuja on the economic value of the Cultural and Creative Industry (CCI) and the importance of effective Copyright protection to further develop the economy of the sector for stakeholders in the industry’s value chain, both parties reiterated their aspiration to ensure that the creative sector is regulated.

Ensuring that musicians, authors, and more generally right owners have access to a long-term and sustainable source of revenues rather than one off payments for the commercial exploitation of their works, is central to develop the economic value of the cultural and creative industry; as it would facilitate access to further financing opportunities with potential collateralization of intellectual property rights.

Speaking to journalists at the event, the Director General of the Nigerian Copyrights Commission, John Asien says it has become very important to ensure that Copyright laws are strengthened, especially as the Nigerian economy explores options to shore up its GDP in the face global economic challenges.

“What we are doing now is to ensure that people understand the value of creativity and have the mindset of moving from consumers of creative contents to producers.”

“Also the need to respect intellectual property of others is one big challenge that is currently being tackled,” he said

The workshop was a follow-up activity, designed to highlight the findings of two studies recently commissioned by the AFD to the stakeholders: first, a study by Price Waterhouse Cooper (PwC), on the CCI sector in Nigeria to assess the economic value and methods of financing the sector, and the second, a diagnostic study carried out by Punuka law firm and KPMG on Copyright protection in Nigeria.

The French Development Agency (Agence Française de Développement – AFD) is the French development bank.

Over the past twelve years, the Bank has committed more than two billion dollars in Nigeria to promote economic growth and foster sustainable development in the infrastructure sector.

Recently, AFD has brought its focus to the Creative and Cultural Industry sector in order to improve access to funding and give new opportunities to Nigerian artists.

According to the AFD: “The first study carried out by PWC, established that CCI is one of the fastest growing industries in the Nigerian economy.

For example, Nigeria’s film industry is by far the country’s most entrenched and better-known creative sectors.

It represents a USD 3.3 billion sector, contributing 1.42% to the rebased GDP with an estimated annual revenue of USD590 million.

Its popularity has spread around the world through the Nigerian diaspora and represents real softpower for the country.

” Nigerian music is also popular worldwide with international stars such as Wizkid, Davido, Burna Boy, and many more.

However, despite international recognition of the music sector, due to lack of copyright protection, it is experiencing low market growth with only USD 46 million in 2018.

“The second study carried out by Punuka Law firm in partnership with KPMG, analyzed the governance and operations of the collective management of copyright in Nigeria which is an essential component of a cultural and creative economy and in particular the music sector.

“The study concludes that collective management organizations are capable of performing a significant role.

However, it also states that there is a need for further reform, adjustment and improvement in the regulatory framework and the management of the system which will enable artistes to more easily access funds.

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The transparency of the system has to be improved at many levels including, the collection of royalties from users, the way distribution of royalties to rights holders for their actual work is done in the compliance with existing regulations.”

In the area of funding, Asein added that asides intervention by the Bank of Industry, efforts are being made to mobilize funds from the committee of bankers and other agencies to ensure that the creative sector is developed to full capacity and contribute its quota to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth.

AFD’s CCI mandate in Nigeria is to support the cultural sector through four pillars of entrepreneurship, governance, capacity building and 4infrastructures.

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