N10.3trn loss to piracy unacceptable – FG

The Federal Government has described the estimated N10.3 trillion loss to national and global piracy in the creative industry as unacceptable.

Lai-Mohammed

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, made the statement in Abuja on Friday when a delegation from the Performing Musicians Employers Association of Nigeria (PMAN) made a presentation to him.

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Mohammed said the figure, which represented 85 per cent of the N15 trillion worth of the industry, could turn the economy of the nation around if piracy was addressed.

He also bemoaned the trend where about 92 per cent of music and video productions by Nigerian artistes were done mostly in South Africa, Europe and America.

The minister said that government would work with the association to stop piracy and provide the enabling environment for the creative industry to thrive.

He said government would encourage investments in the creative industry.

Mohammed agreed with the recommendations of the association that Nov. 30 should be set aside as anti-piracy day.

He said the ministry with the association would hold a press conference to announce government’s commitment to fight piracy, protect creative assets and grow revenue in the sector.

Mohammed said government would consider the recommendation by the association for issuance of a standing order to radio, television and telecommunication operators to cease from using non-bar coded music or movie.

According to the association, the bar code is a technology based sign that allows artists and regulatory bodies to track usage of an artistic work – music and video in particular.

The minister solicited the support of PMAN in its “Change begins with me’’ campaign which would be launched soon.

The delegation, led by Mr Pretty Okafor, the Chairman of the Caretaker Committee of the association, made a presentation, titled

“PMAN-Buhari Administration: a Partnership for Change’’.

Okafor said that the partnership was a right step toward fulfilling the Federal Government’s commitment to diversification of the economy.

He said that the partnership would strengthen government efforts to discourage international production which is sucking away quality local jobs and revenue to government.

Okafor said that government would earn not less than N3 trillion in both VAT and taxable income through the partnership.

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