The Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) says it has seized pirated materials worth about N926 million in the last eight months in Lagos metropolis.
Mr. Obi Ezeilo, the Zonal Manager of the Commission, Lagos Office, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Lagos.
He said that the seizures were made between January and August 2017 in several locations within the city.
“NCC has scaled up its enforcement activities in the last eight months and we have seized pirated items to the tune of over N926 million, removed from containers at Apapa Port, warehouses and shops.
“So, in terms of enforcement and prosecution, things have dramatically changed over the last eight months and the creative industry should be well aware of that.”
According to him, 12 suspected pirates were arrested in the last eight months while 21 pending cases are in court.
He said that the Commission had also closed case files of seven of the suspected pirates.
Ezeilo said that three containers of pirated materials were seized at Apapa Terminal Port and in seven warehouses in Mushin, Ajegunle, Surulere and Amuwo-Odofin.
The materials seized included cinematographic works, literary works, CDs and video CDs.
He said that the commission would introduce a new legislation to strengthen the fight against piracy in the country.
“The draft copyright bill is undergoing fine-tuning at the office of the Attorney-General.
“We are hoping that when the new bill becomes law, it will help to make the copyright industry more vibrant, encourage more creativity and address the issue of piracy on the internet.
“These are the sort of things we are hoping to achieve so that the industry will become a more vibrant industry and contribute more to the economy and the GDP of the country.’’
Ezeilo said that the commission recently carried out another anti-piracy raid, tagged ‘Operation No Mercy’ at Yaba Book market in Lagos, suspected to be a piracy activity zone.
“The anti-piracy raid was carried out following intelligence and surveillance report.
“ They were accompanied on the raid by officers of the Nigeria Police.
“The anti-piracy action proved to be successful as major literary book titles were seized and three suspects arrested.’’
Ezeilo commended the unwavering support and collaborative efforts by the Nigeria Police and stakeholders in the copyright industry towards the fight against piracy in Lagos.
NAN reports that the Copyright Decree No. 47 of 1988 established NCC in August 1989. (NAN)