Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) and Nigeria Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC) are to partner for effective review of the National Book Policy to meet present requirements and realities of the industry.
The Chief Executives of both regulatory agencies also agreed to work out modalities to infuse innovation, creativity and copyright knowledge into school curriculums.
The Director-General (NCC), Dr. John O. Asein and the Executive Secretary (NERDC), Prof. Ismail Junaidu reached these agreements during deliberations at the NERDC, FCT Liaison Office, Abuja on 22nd September 2022. This development signalled a renewed drive to strengthen Intellectual Property (IP) knowledge for sustainable wealth creation and development in the country.
The NCC Director-General appreciated the Executive Secretary for the shared commitment to development of the educational sector and growth of the nation’s economy in line with the present knowledge-driven order.
He listed other areas of possible collaboration with the NERDC as including the campaign for the adaptation and making available learning alternative devices for the blind, visually impaired persons and others with print disabilities, in line with provisions of the Marrakesh Treaty; sanitisation of the NERDC publishing and distribution channels to rid it of piracy and other impediments; NCC Youths and School Innovation and Creativity Enlightenment Project; and mutual staff trainings.
Making a case for the blind, dyslexics and print disabled persons, Dr. Asein noted that a system of equal access and inclusiveness through policies and provision of alternative learning materials like brails, android phones, tablets etc would help mitigate the increasing number of blind-out-of-school children across the country.
According to him, “We believe that NERDC will join us in this campaign so that whenever Government funds go into development or procurement of reading materials, there must be a commitment by the people providing those books that a percentage will also be made available for the visually impaired, the blind and print disabled”.
Stressing the importance of copyright knowledge to stakeholders, the Director-General disclosed that the Commission, through its training arm, the Nigerian Copyright Academy (NCA) was disposed to offering NERDC staff comprehensive training on copyright, the dos and don’ts of publishing and other related matters.
In his remarks, Prof. Junaidu assured that the NERDC would be pleased to work with the NCC to map out modalities of integrating innovation, creativity and copyright contents into the school curriculum; either as subjects, topics or to inbuild it into other career subjects.
He commended the Director-General, NCC for the move to collaborate in the interest of the publishing and copyright sector, noting that it was a great cause that would strengthen the educational sector and the country’s economy.
The Executive Secretary explained that the Book Policy was presently undergoing review and disclosed that the Council would begin to consult with relevant stakeholders like the NCC to ensure that it would be passed into law very soon.
While noting that policies were already in place to secure the interest and needs of blind students and encourage creativity, he added that NERDC was open to work with NCC to strengthen its programmes and achieve more robust, all-inclusive rich curricular for students.
The Executive Secretary gave assurances on the Council’s commitment to follow through with the proposed partnership, noting that NCC was expected to submit a comprehensive concept note, following which a technical team would be constituted from both agencies to draw up an MOU to formalise and define various aspects of the relationship, the action plan and modalities for implementation.
Also at the meeting were some directors of both agencies: NCC, Director of Operations, Mr. Obi Ezeilo; Director, Planning, Research and Statistics (PRS), Mr. Hassan Usman; NERDC, Director, Curriculum Development Centre, Dr. Garba Gandu; Deputy Director and Head, NERDC Liaison Office, Mr. Jonathan Alebiosu; and Assistant Director, NCC DG’s Office, Mr. Seun Popoola.
Vincent A. Oyefeso
Director, Public Affairs