Comptroller General (CG) of Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) Col. Hameed Ali (Rtd) has commended the Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC)’s fight against Piracy particularly the seizure of 28 Shipping Containers of pirated works.
The CG-NCS stated this during a courtesy visit by the Director-General (DG), NCC, Mr. Afam Ezekude to the Customs Boss at the Custom Headquarters Abuja on June 15, 2017.
Presenting a situation report on the Commission’s strategic cooperation with the NCS, the DG, NCC, maintained that the Nigeria Customs Service has remained its key ally in the fight against Copyright Piracy as the collaboration resulted in the seizure of 28 Shipping containers comprising pirated books and audio-visual works from 2011 to first quarter of 2017.
Mr. Ezekude noted that while all the seizures occurred at the Seaports, the Commission also seeks more intervention at the Airports and Land borders.
The courtesy visit which is strategic is part of the Commission’s quest to strengthen inter-agency collaboration and explore further ways in the fight against Copyright piracy with respect to movement of pirated works at border points through the air, sea and land.
As a measure to further strengthen the existing synergy between the two agencies, the Commission is requesting the CG Customs to;
- Formalize the inter-agency collaboration through Development and signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the two agencies after careful consideration of the draft MOU.
- Mobilizing all Custom Area Comptrollers through issued circular pursuant to the terms of the MOU for effective cooperation with the Commission’s officials at all times in the area of monitoring and joint inspection activities.
- Assisting the Commission to have access to shipping manifest especially those portions with Copyright content.
The CG Customs while appreciating the visit also commended the Commission for carrying out its mandate as NCC shares a common phenomenon with the customs in the area of enforcement.
Col. Ali (Rtd) while urging the commission not to relent in the fight against piracy as it is a deliberate act said the Commission should ensure that culprits are jailed to serve as a deterrent to others.
Lauding the Commission achievements on its scorecard in areas of seizures, the CGC assured that the Customs will review the collaborations at the borders to further intensify the cooperation. He advised on the need to involve International intelligence networks in the areas of intelligence gathering and surveillance to improve information gathering for timely intervention on pirated consignments being shipped into the country.
The CGC further encouraged the Commission’s IT Unit to link up with the Customs IT Unit for proper interface to access information on the Customs portal regarding their operations as this will facilitate the collaboration in areas of pre-destination inspections.
Responding to the request concerning the MOU, Hameed Ali emphasized on the commitment of NCS to its operations as it will readily ratify the MOU after a careful study. On issuance of circulars to Custom’s command based on the MOU he said it was going to be issued since it is a very interesting part of their collaborations in form of Standard Operating Procedures (SOP).
Highlights of the courtesy visit was the interactive session where officers of the NCS used the forum to canvass on the need for sensitization and enlightenment on Copyright infringing materials as these will enhance what to really inspect or look out for during inspections.
As a mark of honour, the DG, NCC, was presented with a plaque of the NCS by the CGC, Col.Hameed Ali (Rtd) with group photo shots between the DG, NCC and CGC, Officers of the Commission and Customs.
Also in attendance at the courtesy visit are Director Prosecution, NCC, Mr. A. T. Kohol, Director Finance & Accounts, NCC, Mr. M. Obasi, Director PRS, NCC, Mr. Bitrus Dauda, Director Enforcement, NCC, Mr. A, Amodu, Asst. Director and PA to DG,NCC, Mr. Collins Nweke, Mr. Umar, I.A (DCG FATS-Customs), Alu, S.R (Ag. DCG T&T), Dangaladima, A.A (Ag. DCG EI&I), Olubiyi, R.O. (Ag. DCG HRD), Chidi, A. (Ag. DCG (Exp, FTZall), and Azarema, A. (ACG-Hqtrs).