By Dupe Olaoye-Osinkolu/
Light seems to be at the end of the tunnel for Nigeria’s intellectual property owners as police authorities move against pirates.
The Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Ibrahim Idris, has said that the police would soon set up anti-piracy units in the 36 states of the federation.
The IGP, who made this disclosure yesterday while receiving the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, and other stakeholders in the creative industry, said the anti-piracy unit would help to combat piracy of intellectual property in the country.
The IGP appointed three senior police officers, including two deputy inspectors-general of police, Force CID and operations, to work with the Ministry of Information and Culture as well as stakeholders to prepare a standard operating procedure (SOP) for the renewed and sustained battle against piracy.
“The time for talk is over. We should go into action,” Idris said.
Earlier, the minister said he led the delegation to meet with the IGP to solicit his support for a sustained fight against piracy, which was preventing the practitioners from reaping the rewards of their labour.
He said: “I want to thank the police for helping us to combat piracy and to solicit for more cooperation in the fight against piracy.
Meanwhile, the National President of Association of Nigeria Theatre-Arts Practitioners, Chief Jimoh Aliu (MFR) has commended the IGP for “moving in the right direction”.
Aliu, who is also the Oba Asa of Yorubaland (King of Culture) said, “The success of the planned intervention by the Police will definitely impact positively on Nigeria’s creative industry. We in the film industry pledge our support for government and the Police in this war against piracy- a canker-worm that has eaten deep into our financial resources.”
The IGP described piracy as a crime. “You cannot take the sweat, labour and intellectual work of an individual, reproduce and sell it without his or her consent.”
Mohammed appreciates the contributions of the creative industry to the nation’s development, saying it contributes 1.42 per cent of the GDP, employs millions of people and puts Nigeria on the global map.
“The works of actors, actresses, musicians, fashion designers, etc., have travelled widely and they (practitioners) are good ambassadors of Nigeria. However, their industry is under threat and we must find a way to save it,” he said.