A diagnostic study project to review the operations of Collective Management Organisations (CMOs) in Nigeria for enhanced performance has been commissioned by the Agence Française de Développement (AFD) in partnership with the Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC).
According to the Country Director of AFD, Mr. Paschal Gregeau, the project is part of AFD’s support to strengthen the collective management of copyright in Nigeria. AFD, is the French Government’s bilateral donor agency in Nigeria while the NCC is the Nigerian Government agency responsible for all copyright matters, including the regulation of CMOs in the country.
The engagement contract was signed at the AFD Country Office in Abuja, in the presence of the Director-General of NCC, Mr. John O. Asein, by Mr. Paschal Gregeau for AFD and Mrs. Isioma Idigbe on behalf of Messrs Punuka Attorneys, a firm of legal practitioners. The project commenced on November 4, 2019 with the signing of the contract.
The AFD Country Director, while underscoring the importance of the project, stated that it would focus on the operational and governance dimensions of collective management in the country, including a review of their accounting processes, with a view to making recommendations for improvement.
Mr. Gregeau tasked the project consultants to analyse the organisational structure and activities of CMOs and their relevance to the attainment of their principal objectives, as well as identify elements of underperformance and/or dysfunction in the management of CMOs in the context of the statutory and regulatory framework.
Mrs. Isioma Idigbe of Punuka Attorneys assured the AFD of the commitment of the consultants to deliver on the terms of the project. The Study has a time frame of four months at the end of which a report would be published for the information of the concerned collective management organisations and the public.
In his remarks, the Director-General of NCC, Mr. Asein, reiterated the Commission’s commitment to entrenching a regime of sound collective management of rights In Nigeria. He reaffirmed the Commission’s stand that CMOs should subscribe to the highest standards of good governance, responsibility, efficiency, accountability and transparency.
The Director-General also expressed hope that the outcome of the study would assist the Commission in its policy and regulatory interventions towards engendering a more effective CMO regime in Nigeria.
In a related development, the Commission has commissioned KPMG to conduct an audit of the accounts of the Copyright Society of Nigeria (Ltd/Gte) (COSON). The audit, according to the Governing Board of the Commission, is a precondition for the renewal of COSON’s operating licence. COSON had applied to the Commission for a renewal of its licence, which lapsed in May, 2018.
“It is hoped that the steps being taken by the Commission would, among other things, guarantee transparency and restore the confidence of concerned stakeholders in Nigeria’s collective management system,” remarked the Director-General.
Vincent A. Oyefeso
Director, Public affairs