The Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) and MTN Nigeria Communications Limited have committed to a partnership geared at strengthening copyright regulations to guarantee adequate reward for copyright owners and users across the country.

This was disclosed in Abuja on 8th April 2018 at a consultative meeting between the Director-General of NCC, Mr. John Asein and a delegation of MTN led by its General Manager, Commercial Legal Corporate Services Division, Mrs. Ifeoma Utah.

Accompanied by MTN’s Manager, Regulatory Government, Mr. Anas Galadima and Legal Advisor, Mr. Chukwukaelo Ajuluchukwu, the MTN Divisional General Manager stated that the MTN was interested in exploring a partnership aimed at ensuring that the Commission achieves its statutory mandates especially in the implementation of regulations that would protect all stakeholders in the copyright system.

Mrs. Utah, while congratulating the Director-General on his recent appointment, underscored that the collaboration of MTN with the Commission would be on a long-term basis. She stressed the need for periodic Intellectual Property (IP) updates and awareness trainings for critical sectors, including the Bar and the Bench, assuring the Commission of MTN’s collaboration in achieving this.

Responding, the Director-General NCC underscored the Commission’s commitment to promoting the policy of the Federal Government on the ease of doing business, especially with a view to ensuring sustainable growth and development of the creative industries.

He added that the Commission would create an environment conducive for all players in the copyright space to grow their business profitably within the ambit of the copyright law and regulations. To this end, he hinted that the Commission was developing an institutional framework to provide alternative disputes resolution (ADR) services to stakeholders to engender a win-win situation for copyright owners and users.

Mr. Asein informed that the Copyright Amendment Bill was drafted to bring about a more functional copyright regime, adding that the Bill was on its way to the National Assembly while the Commission is engaging with critical stakeholders to facilitate its passage.

He stressed that the Commission was committed to midwifing a copyright system that empowers right owners and users, and called for dialogue and more opportunities to create awareness amongst right owners who must remain the primary beneficiaries in the copyright ecosystem.

The DG noted that MTN as a huge player in the communications, social and creative sectors needed to expand its corporate social responsibility in order to promote and sustain the creative sector.

He invited MTN to key into the programmes and activities of the Commission, including its forthcoming 30th Anniversary, which would focus on the developments around the creative sectors in the last three decades and highlight the potentials and contributions of that sector to the national economy.