A container load of suspected pirated books, valued at over N20 million, belonging to different publishers, has been impounded in a joint operation by Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) and Nigerian Customs Service (NCS).
The container with laden number CMAU171419/9 had been imported by a forwarding agent, Blessnta Investment Ltd of No. 4, Okuntola Street, Mushin, Lagos for a consignee, identified as Onyigold Logistics Services Ltd of Creek Road, Apapa, Lagos.
Following intelligence supplied by NCC and with the support of the Nigerian Publishers Association, the consignment of 672 cartons comprising different titles belonging to various publishers was intercepted at the Tin Can Ports by officers of the Customs Service. A joint inspection by operatives of NCC and NSC thereafter confirmed that the books were pirated.
The pirated titles included Macmillan’s Champion Primary Mathematics Books 3 and 4, Fully Revised Edition, Pearson’s New General Mathematics for Junior Secondary School Students, Books 2 and 3 by M. F. Macrea; Learn Africa’s New Concept English Book 3 for Junior Secondary School (Fourth Edition); Learn Africa’s New Concept English Books 1 and 3 for Senior Secondary School (Fourth Edition) by J. Eyisi, A. Adekunle, B. Adepoju, F. Ademola, Q. Adams and J. Eto; Learn Africa’s Nigeria Primary English Book 1 (Third Edition); as well as Children Bible Stories and The Beginner’s Bible Stories, a publication of Specialty Books, New York.
At a media briefing, Mr. John O. Asein, the Director-General of Nigerian Copyright Commission, represented by Mr. Vincent A. Oyefeso, Director of Public Affairs, expressed the Commission’s determination to confront copyright piracy on all fronts.
He thanked the Comptroller General and officers of the Nigeria Customs Service for the renewed commitment to the effective collaboration between the two agencies to ensure that no copyright infringing materials are allowed into Nigeria.
In the words of the Director General, “Copyright piracy remains a real threat to the nation as it destroys the creative industry and impoverishes its people”.
He warned that copyright piracy has become more sophisticated and constitutes a threat to national security as intelligence has shown that pirates work with international crime cells and have often been linked to other heinous crimes.
The Director-General noted that because of the zero duty on books, unscrupulous importers now make false declarations either to evade payment of duty or as a decoy to smuggle in prohibited goods.
In the case of the intercepted container, he remarked that the Children Bible Stories were intended to conceal the pirated Nigerian books.
While commending the Customs officers for their vigilance and quick response, the Director-General urged them to be even more vigilant as the new book season approaches.
Mr. Asein reassured stakeholders of Government’s resolve to ensure that they are guaranteed a congenial business environment and adequate return on their investment in the copyright industry.
In his remarks, the Deputy Controller of Customs, Tin Can Ports Command, Mr. Dera Nnadi, stated that the importation of the container load of prated books was in contravention of the Customs Act prohibiting untrue declaration, adding that the importer falsely declared the consignments to be Bibles whereas the bulk of the goods were pirated books in contravention of the Copyright Act.
Mr. Mba Abdullahi, Deputy Controller, representing the Customs Area Comptroller, confirmed: “The interception of the infringing container is the outcome of Customs interagency collaboration and shared intelligence with the Nigerian Copyright Commission”.
He said the container would be handed over to the NCC for further investigation, adding that the Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Unit of the Customs Service would work with the NCC to ascertain the source, country of origin and collaborators in the importation of the infringing publications.
“The whole essence is to protect the original copyright owners so that Government will protect intellectual property rights, protect Government revenue and provide security for the nation because money from pirated works can be diverted to fund other criminal activities,” he stated.
“Customs encourages capacity building for its personnel and stakeholders. So, importers are encouraged to take advantage of Customs training facilities to learn more about procedures for legal importation. Other importers should learn from the loss of this illegal importer”, he added.
Yobe Gov Approves Employment of Staff @ State Owned Broadcasting Stations
Mai Mala Buni, governor of Yobe State has approved the appointment of experienced casual staff working at Yobe Broadcasting Corporation (YBC) and Yobe State Television (YTV).
This is as part of efforts to ensure enough manpower for the on-going digitization of the two stations.
Abdullahi Bego, commissioner for Information, Home Affairs, and Culture revealed this when the officials of the Radio, Television and Theatre Art Workers Union (RATAWU) paid him a courtesy visit at the office in Damaturu.
Bego said the governor had after approving millions of naira for the total overhauling of the two stations directed for formulation of all strategies that will ensure effective implementation of the digitization process.
The commissioner also said, “His Excellency Hon. Mai Mala Buni is passionate about the digitization process of the media organizations in the state especially when it comes to equipment, staff strength and capability.
“The next step is the training and retraining of the staff of the two media organisations for efficiency in the execution of their job,” Bego disclosed.
He said the casual staffs billed for employment were serving at the stations for more than eight years while others five to six years without permanent appointment letters.
“We feel it is good to employ them taking into cognizance their experience in the system and dedication to duty.”
Bego commended RATTAWU among other members of the organization for their effort in informing, enlightening, and entertaining the public at all times.
Comrade Nasiru Illiya, chairman of RATTAWU, while speaking, said they were at his office to register their gratitude to the giant stride of Governor Mai Mala Buni, especially on the digitization of the two media organisations in the state.
“Sir, we are equally very grateful to note that within your short stay as commissioner of Information, we have started witnessing a positive transformation in the sector through the award of contracts worth millions of naira for upgrading YBC and YTV from analogue to digital transmission
“As I am speaking to you now, YBC is online transmission live,” Illiya disclosed
FirstBank Supports Author on New TV Series
First Bank of Nigeria Limited has announced its partnership with Arese Ugwu for the television adaptation of her best seller, Smart Money Woman.
The weekly show – in its first season – is billed to premiere on Africa Magic Showcase this Wednesday.
The Smart Money Woman is a programme that shows the experiences, sacrifices, struggles and vigour of women in society as they carry out their day to day activities in spite of the gender imbalance in the society, especially in Africa.
The series is an adaptation of Smart Money Woman written to tackle debt, providing tips on inculcating the right savings culture of the African middle class (why don’t we say – every individual – as against limiting to African middle class), the fear and misconceptions surrounding money and the lack of it, love, friendships, cultural and societal pressures and the roles they play in success.
The half hour 13-episode series which is directed by Bunmi Ajakaiye and Co-, produced by Kemi Lala Akindoju, Akin Marinho and Arcadia Tv Africa would have viewers exposed to financial literacy nuggets. Its cast include; Osas Ighodaro, Toni Tones, Ini Dima-Okojie, Eby Eno, Eso Okolocha, Timini Egbuson, Karibi Fubara, Tope Tedela, Seun Ajayi and Temisan Emmanuel.
According to Arese Ugwu, author and executive producer, Smart Tribe Media; “The Smart Money Woman is a love letter to every modern and upwardly mobile African women who are exploring life opportunities and experiences to find that right balance in their day to day activities especially in their career, friendship, relationship and of course, family.”
“We thank First Bank of Nigeria Limited for being the first corporate sponsor to believe in my dream and take a chance on a first-time producer. This is a partnership we are pleased to reckon with, whilst we recognise how they have successfully empowered women across the geo-political zones in Nigeria through its various initiatives, especially the FirstGem product. They have provided mentoring, support and capacity building opportunities for all to create a new generation of financially literate women thereby contributing to the continued growth and development of the country.”
Speaking on the TV show, Folake Ani-Mumuney, group head, Marketing & Corporate Communications, First Bank of Nigeria Limited, said: “FirstBank has been at the forefront of promoting female empowerment and we understand the role financial literacy plays in deepening financial inclusion, whilst promoting female independence.
The essence of the TV programme is to raise financial awareness to inspire every individual in the society, especially women, to make informed choices and take effective actions for their financial wellbeing, she concluded.”
OurTv Secures LaLiga Broadcasting Rights for Nigeria
OurTV, a DTH free TV broadcast satellite service provider, has secured broadcast rights for Laliga matches in Nigeria.
OurTV will broadcast Laliga Santander matches live on its Sports Channel 120.
Commenting on the development, Olushola Peters, Head of Marketing of OurTV, said: “This is one major milestone for OurTv and we want to thank our esteemed users, who have always believed and supported us. We value your input and suggestions as it is a core culture in OurTv to listen and please our viewers as much as we can.”
OurTv is a Direct-To-Home (DTH) TV broadcast satellite service with onetime payment of set-up boxes that offers over 18 unique and exciting channels with the use of homegrown services.
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