Michael Akpan is currently the Director, Nigerian Copyright Academy (NCA), with responsibility for Coordinating the specialized training on Copyright and Intellectual Property matters for Staff of NCC and professionals in the IP related industries. In addition, he is responsible for managing the Commission’s external collaborations with other institutions on matters relating to Intellectual Property Awareness and Education.

His professional career spans both private legal practice and the Public Service of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Prior to joining the Nigerian Copyright Commission, he was an Associate in the Law firm of Tayo Laleye and Company, Ikeja, Lagos, where he gathered professional experience in commercial litigation, legal documentation and corporate legal services. In the course of his career in the Nigerian Copyright Commission, he has worked in various Departments, including the Legal Services; Prosecution; Regulatory; and Planning, Research and Statistics (PRS) departments.

Mr. Akpan has been involved in the development of the policy and legislative framework of Intellectual Property and copyright administration both nationally and internationally, including serving as an Expert on Nigeria’s delegation to relevant Standing Committees  of the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) and the Assemblies of Member States (General Assembly). He also served in the Expert Group of the African Union Commission for the Preparation of Constitutive Articles of the Pan-African Intellectual Property Organisation; and as Nigeria’s Representative at the ECOWAS Copyright Observatory.

Mr. Akpan has represented the Commission on several inter-agency committees including the Committee on Harmonisation of Draft Cyber-security Legislations (preparation of Draft Cybercrime Bill -2011); National Focal Point on Trade Negotiations; Committee on US/Nigeria Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA); Committee on Microsoft/Nigerian Government Software Licensing at the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA); and Film Censorship Committee of National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB). Aside his routine functions in the Commission, Mr. Akpan at various times served as the Secretary to the Governing Board of the Commission; Special Assistant to the Director-General, a member of the Expert Working Group of the Copyright Reform Project; Coordinator of the Working Group for the Medium Term Corporate Plan and Strategies (MTCPS 2012 -2014 & 2019 – 2023) of the NCC; and head of Project Secretariat for the Ford Foundation/NCC Study on the Piracy Situation in Nigeria (2006-2008).

In his capacity as the focal official of the Commission on WIPO matters, Mr. Akpan coordinated, on behalf of the Commission, various WIPO Projects undertaken in Nigeria, including the WIPO Assistance for Establishment of Collective Management Organization for Audio-visual Sector; WIPO Project on Judicial Institutes Training on IP for Judges; the WIPO/IFRRO/NORCODE Assistance to Reproduction Rights Society of Nigeria (REPRONIG); and the ongoing WIPO/Nigeria Project on National Intellectual Property Policy and Strategy.

Mr. Akpan holds a Bachelor of Laws (LL.B) from the University of Cross River State (Now University of Uyo) Uyo (1989); a Master of Laws (LL.M) from University of Lagos (1998); and a Post Graduate Specialization in Intellectual Property of the WIPO Academy/University of South Africa, Pretoria (2005). He has participated in several on-the-job capacity building programmes and international conferences and seminars. He is the lead author of “Copyright Handbook for SMEs in Nigeria” (2011) in addition to other published articles on copyright, and papers presented at various copyright conferences both in Nigeria and internationally.