The Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) has announced that it is working with publishers to address the issue of piracy in the country.
The commission’s DG, Dr. John Asein, made this known in Enugu over the weekend at the grand reception of the newly elected President of Nigeria Publishers Association, Mr. Uchenna Anioke.
Asein said that the NCC is very much aware of the challenges from the cost of printing in Nigeria and the problems of distribution, to the challenges from pirates, and to the discordance between them and the booksellers.
“So what we are doing at this point is to build that partnership. In fact, we have what I call a partnership of the Nigeria Copyright Commission, Nigeria Publishers Association, Nigeria Book Sellers Association, and the chartered institute of printers.
“So with the four of us working together, we can begin to look at the problems of the book; from the very beginning which is the authorship, to the very endpoint which is the sale to the consumer out there,” he said.
The DG gave the assurance that they are going to put heads together and see how they can make Enugu state a safe state for publishing.
“That’s one of the things we are going to deliver on to see how we can convince the state government and all the stakeholders and players in the state to look back on.
“Like you very well know, Enugu is a town on the hill and when you have the candlelit, you don’t hide it; you put it on the hilltop and this being the hilltop state, we should make it a shining example of how the book should be treated and how Publishers should have the kind of congenial atmosphere that we need for them in Nigeria.
“So Enugu will end up being an example of one state where publishers can come and feel safe to do their business,” Dr. Asein noted.
Meanwhile, the newly elected president of the Nigeria Publishers Association, Uchenna Anioke when asked about his vision for publishers, said that China, India, North Korea, Japan, South Korea, Turkey, and Germany, produced their best medical doctors and their best engineers, teaching them in the university with the local language.
“Aside a few books you can find in primary and secondary schools that was written in Hausa, Yoruba, or Igbo, in higher institutions, we don’t have any book.
“We can’t produce a doctor using our indigenous language. We can’t produce an engineer, a computer scientist using our indigenous language.
“Look at North Korea, they don’t speak English but they have the best computer scientists, look at India, people are going to the moon yet they don’t speak English. Look at Germany, the best machines we use are not produced in English.
“So until Nigeria begins to write, begin to produce our best using the local languages, for instance, universities in the east should teach courses in Igbo language, in the west, let it be taught in Yoruba and in the north, it should be taught in Hausa language.
“That’s when begin to hide our secrets. And who can drive it? the publishers can encourage authors to achieve this.
“If I can achieve this within my four years, I will be grateful to God,” Anioke said.