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Piracy Takes Centre Stage at Nollywood Roundtable

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It was a mind stimulating session at the Goethe-Institut, last week when major stakeholders in the Nigerian movie industry (otherwise known as Nollywood), which has attracted so much attention from the international community over the past few years; gathered to deliberate on the success and crisis of the industry at a roundtable organised by Communicating for Change (CFC), a leading development communications enterprise.
Piracy was a watchword for participants at the roundtable, who expressed fear and frustration at the rate of recurrence of the menace, which has the capacity of destroying the entire Nigerian entertainment industry. They observed that piracy continues to be a problem faced by every filmmaker, and that might explain why there has not been appreciable development in Nollywood, given that investors do not get return on investment; thus have nothing to plough back into film production.
Peace Anyiam-Osigwe, founder/CEO of the African Movie Academy Awards(Amaa) observed that piracy is not only perpetrated from within Nigeria, but from outside as there are pirated films coming from China and other parts of the world, which just manage to escape the watch of customs agents at the borders. According to her, pirated Nollywood films from China are sold in countries like Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Botswana, Angola without any returns to the copyright owners; and the pirates brave enough to bring them into Nigeria against all odds.
Emeka Ogbonna, zonal manager of the Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC), informed that government is not adequately funding the NCC towards putting up an effective fight against piracy, and that is part of the challenges facing the Commission. But despite those challenges, he said they were doing everything possible to stem the tide of piracy, even as the NCC has no legal standing to be at the border posts, and so rely on the Nigeria Customs Service and the Standard Organisation of Nigeria to see that pirated materials are kept away from the country.
He disclosed that some copyright owners do not contribute positively to the movement, as they do not come forward to report cases of infringements, without which the Commission would be totally handicapped and not able to get a conviction in the court of law.
Teco Benson, CEO of TFP Studios, said that piracy laws in Nigeria do not have enough “teeth  to bite.” “Some of the laws have sanctions of N1,000 for people that are caught in the act; so if you are a pirate, you pirate a film and just have to pay N1,000!”
He urged government to make more legislations and enforce stiffer sanctions for piracy, and increase public awareness as some people commit the act in total ignorance, which explains why hawkers can be found on the streets and major roads selling pirated films and other materials with impunity.
For Benson, Nollywood is the hope of Nigeria and it high time government began to raise the stakes in the piracy war, as the film industry could make significant contributions to the nation’s GDP.
At the end of the day, the participants at the forum agreed that until pirates begin to behave as the thieves that they are, there is no way forward in putting a stop to the problem, which continues to thwart the growth of the Nigerian creative industry.

 


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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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