Nigeria kick starts processing of Copy Rights law

Timothy Choji, Abuja

PRESIDENT BUHARI PRESIDES OVER FEC MEETING 2. R-L; President Muhammadu Buhari, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo,SGF Mr. Boss Mustapha, Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Mrs Winifred Oyo-Ita and NSA Major General Babagana Munguno during the Federal Executive Council (FEC) Meeting held at the Council Chambers State House Abuja. PHOTO; SUNDAY AGHAEZE. JUNE 13, 2018

The Federal executive Council has approved the processing of Nigeria’s Copy Rights Act 2018 to help enforce the protection of the country’s creative industry.

Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami disclosed this to Journalists, while briefing them on the outcome of this week’s Federal executive Council, presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari.

He said the bill would soon be transmitted to the National Assembly for passage.

He said: “Council approved the processing of the Copy Rights Act 2018 which seeks among others to strengthen copy right regime by way of protection of the creative industry, by ensuring that punitive measures are indeed place for breaches to copy rights. The bill was approved for transmission to the National Assembly for passage into law, the essence of which is to effect protection to creative and intellectual property.”

 The Minister further said the Council approved the payment of professional fees to lawyers engaged by the Nigerian government relating to the MTN case instituted against the government in pursuance of a penalty of over N1 trillion imposed by the government on MTN.

“MTN as you will recall, instituted a case seeking to retrain the federal government from recovering the over N1 trillion imposed on it. The Nigerian government engaged the services of lawyers to put up defence on its behalf as a result, the case was eventually settled by the parties amicably and arising from that settlement the lawyers were entitled to their fees. 

 “The cabinet has now sanctioned the payment of N500 million for the N330 billion agreed upon for the alleged certain breaches in their operations. This amount is less than one percent of the fee instead of the internationally recognized fee which is pegged at 5%,” he stated.

The Minister of Justice also highlighted the achievements made by the current administration in the fight against corruption.

“Council approved a memorandum that seeks to strengthen prevention measures and institutions on the part of implementations of Mr. President’s London commitment on anti-corruption and Open Government Partnership. You will in 2016 during the anti-corruption summit Me. President gave commitment to the implementation of Open Government Partnership. In pursuance of that commitment, Nigeria has indeed register as a member of the World Open Government Partnership which is to give commitment to transparency, accountability and access of the citizen governance. Arising from that commitment, Mr. President has also given approval sometimes back approved the national action plan on Open Government Partnership. 

 “Today, the memo presented seeks for the establishment of units within MDAs that will give effect to that transparency, accountability and access of the citizens to information relating to governance.  It is about strengthening and institutionalising the Transparency and accountability all geared towards the fight against corruption which constitutes one of the higher points of the commitment of the president in this administration,” he said.