The Director General, NCC, Mr. Afam Ezekude explained that the development of the electronic platform for registration of Copyright works is aimed at adapting ICT to the Commission’s routine operations. This, the DG disclosed, was part of the on-going reform of the Copyright System.
The DG further said the e-copyright System offers an avenue to upgrade the existing data collection initiative of the Commission in line with its statutory mandate. He stated that the platform will provide more efficient service and wider access to its database, while allowing for flexibility in the mode of payment for services provided by the Commission as well as facilitating documentation of the Copyright works of qualified persons from any part of the world.
Mr. Ezekude expressed appreciation to stakeholders who had honoured the Commission’s invitation to the event while also commending them for their unwavering support and valuable inputs in entrenching a viable Copyright regime. He specifically commended the National Information Technology Development Agency, NITDA for the strategic role they played in partnering with the NCC in bringing the project to reality.
In his speech while launching the platform, the Honorable Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Mohammed Bello Adoke represented by the Senior Special Adviser to the HAGF, Mrs Victoria Mbu, said the event was indeed another milestone recorded by the Commission.
The HAGF commended the Commission’s giant strides while noting the critical role ICT plays in information production and transmission. He also commended the global outlook of the project noting that the system has a broad utilitarian value with respect to its ability to address issues arising from the Freedom of Information Act (FOI) as well as easy rights management verification thus enhancing transparency and affording creators the opportunity of earning foreign exchange.
The Honorable Minister also used the forum to explain that the merger of the Commission with the Commercial Law Department of the Ministry of Trade and Investment was to bring about a more virile IP institution framework for a robust creative economy.
Also speaking at the event, Chairman of the Commission’s Governing Board, Chief Festus Dikebi Lott noted that the launch of the e-Registration was a major milestone. He said the platform has a crucial role in strengthening the Copyright regime as it will facilitate efficient and timely service delivery, flexible payment platform for services, easy retrieval of public records of copyright works, and an improved data exchange with domestic and foreign enforcement authorities.
The Board Chairman encouraged authors and stakeholders to take advantage of the new system which will enhance the protection of their works and at the same time boost the repertoire of Nigeria’s creativity. He also commended the Management of the Commission and stakeholders noting that the Board will take into account useful suggestions that may be relevant in shaping future policies of the Commission.
Another key speaker at the event was the Director-General, National Information Technology Development Agency, NITDA, Mr Peter Jack represented by the Agency’s Legal Adviser, Mr Emmanuel Edet.
The presentation of the NeCRS was done by Mr Mike Akpan, NCC’s Head of Regulatory who highlighted the statutory basis for the establishment of the System and the benefits to be derived there from. Mr Akpan’s presentation focused on services provided by NeCRS, registration of works, fees and payment of charges to the NeCRS, payment system, processing time, help and feedback through various platforms.
The launch was concluded with test registration of the System by the representative of the HAGF, the DG NCC and other stakeholders.Goodwill messages were delivered by notable stakeholders in the Copyright Industry including Mr. Mahmood Ali-Balogun, representing the Audio Visual Rights Society, Mr. Jare Ajayi of REPRONIG and Pastor Cyprian Orakpo of Transerve.
Other personalities that attended the event are the DG, National Broadcasting Commission, Mr. Emeka Mba represented by Mallam Salihu Awwalu, Director Public Affairs of the NBC; Justice Ben Kanyip of the National Industrial Court; DG Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, Prof. Adekunle; representative of Nigerian Export-Import Bank, Mr. Folarin Tiamiyu; DG Voice of Nigerian represented by the Director of Programmes, Ajibola Yusuf. Others are the General Manager COSON, Mr Chinedu Chukwudi; Chinyere Okorocha, Chairperson Intellectual Property Commission of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA and members of the Copyright Guilds and Association among others.