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NCC DG Calls for National Book Policy to Address New Challenges

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Mr. John O. Asein, director-general of Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC), has called on stakeholders in the book sector to work towards the formulation and adoption of a National Book Policy that would address the emerging issues in the sector.

He made the call in his remarks at a copyright webinar organised by the Commission as part of the Virtual Nigerian International Book Fair, 2020 over the weekend with the theme: “Information Technology as a Panacea for the Book Industry Sustainability Amidst the Covid-19 Pandemic”.

Mr. Asein noted that the COVID-19 pandemic presented practitioners in the book industry with an opportunity to redesign their business models, stressing that it was imperative for all those concerned to go back to the drawing board and address the new realities of today in order to guarantee a better tomorrow.

He tasked authors, publishers, printers, booksellers and others in the value chain to leverage on emerging Information and Communication Technology (ICT) tools to sustain their relevance in the industry.

According to him, the Commission has harmonised its regulatory and enforcement framework for a balanced, responsive and sustainable copyright ecosystem that would continue to meet the needs of the wider creative sector.

The Director-General disclosed that in partnership with accredited bodies, the Commission would soon roll out measures to monitor the production, importation, warehousing, distribution and sale of books, lamenting the reckless abuse by pirates.

“The Commission will also activate all provisions of the Copyright Act, including the obligation on publishers, printers, producers and manufacturers of copyright works to keep a register of works.

“Our primary objective is to provide a more congenial business environment for copyright business, check book piracy and promote effective management and enforcement of rights”, he added.

He indicated that the proposed measures followed discussions between NCC and stakeholders like the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA), the Nigerian Publishers Association (NPA), the Booksellers Association of Nigeria (BAN); and the Chartered Institute of Professional Printers of Nigeria (CIPPON), to develop appropriate technology-based solutions to some of the lingering problems in the industry.

Noting that Nigeria ratified the Marrakesh Treaty in October 2017 to enable persons who were blind, visually impaired, or otherwise print disabled have access to published works, the Director-General also urged publishers to deploy information technology to ensure that more books were made accessible to such persons.

“We urge relevant Government agencies at Federal and State levels to adopt a policy requiring all government funded book production or procurement agreements to include an obligation that the books should also be made available in formats that blind and visually impaired persons can access”, he stated.

He assured that the Commission would partner with the Nigeria Association of the Blind to follow-up on its collaboration with the Accessible Book Consortium (ABC) of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) for the training of publishers and braille production centres to promote the production of school books in accessible formats.

He condemned the rising incidence of illicit book sharing on WhatsApp groups, rogue e-libraries and fraudulent online bookstores, especially in the wake of the pandemic and e-learning solutions that it has forced on the education system.

To this end, he assured right owners that the Commission would continue to monitor the online space and respond speedily to reports of copyright abuses.

“In the meantime, the newly established Online Inspectors Unit in the Commission’s Enforcement Department will also be taking preemptive actions to disrupt online infringements”, he said.

Speaking on the “Challenges of Copyright Enforcement in the Digital Environment”, the Commission’s Director of Enforcement, Mr. Obi Ezeilo identified outdated laws, need to collaborate with different agencies responsible for aspects of online dealings, the difficulty in identifying true copyright owners and the reluctance of online service providers to take down infringing works, as some of the problems militating against effective enforcement of copyright online.

Other challenges identified included the problem of gathering evidence to prosecute online offender; territorial nature of copyright law making it difficult to go against offenders domiciled outside Nigeria; and the frequent changes in technology in the digital environment.

Other resource persons at the webinar were the Deputy Director, Regulatory Department of NCC, Mrs. Susan Bashorun, who made a presentation on “Practical Guidelines for Copyright e-Registration System” and a Chief Copyright Officer, Mr. Kunle Olatunji, who presented a paper on “Management of Rights in Literary Works: Imperatives for the Digital Environment”.

The webinar, moderated by NCC Director of Regulatory Department, Mr. Augustine Amodu, drew participants from across different copyright related sectors.


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Yobe Gov Approves Employment of Staff @ State Owned Broadcasting Stations

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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).

Yobe Gov Approves Employment of Staff @ State Owned Broadcasting Stations

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


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FirstBank Supports Author on New TV Series

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First Bank of Nigeria Limited has announced its partnership with Arese Ugwu for the television adaptation of her best seller, Smart Money Woman.

FirstBank Supports Author on New TV Series

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.”


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OurTv Secures LaLiga Broadcasting Rights for Nigeria

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OurTV, a DTH free TV broadcast satellite service provider, has secured broadcast rights for Laliga matches in Nigeria.

OurTv Secures LaLiga Broadcasting Rights for 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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