DIRECTOR-GENERAL, Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC), Dr. John O. Asein, has applauded the creative skills of participants in the maiden edition of the NCC National Creative Writing Competition.
Asein disclosed this while presenting an award plaque and prize to the winner of the 1st Prize in the Essay Category of the Competition, Miss Firdaous Ojutalayo at her school, Muslim Model College, Ibadan on 8th June 2023.
“We acknowledge the immense work that has gone into your writing and encourage you to continue to use your creative talents for the good of the educational and creative industry in Nigeria. On our part as the body charged with the responsibility of protecting copyright in Nigeria, we assure you of full protection of your copyright and adequate return on your intellectual investment” he stated.
The DG called on relevant authorities in Nigeria as well as corporate bodies to invest in young creatives wherever they are and whenever their talents are being exhibited. “Whether it is in spoken word, poetry, or any creative writing. If a child does not see that the society is encouraging creativity, he or she may begin to feel that there isn’t a future there. So, I call on the corporate world to put more of their resources in those areas that will nurture and provide the manure for these talents to grow” he stressed.
The NCC Director-General, who was represented at the event by Deputy Director, Public Affairs, Mrs. Ijeoma Egbunike, declared that the Commission will publish the winning entries as a way of encouraging the children and further assured that the competition has come to stay.
Reacting to the award, the Principal, Muslim Model College, Ibadan, Mrs. Fatimah Alao, appreciated Miss Ojutalayo for making the school proud in the competition and commended the NCC for honouring the winners, adding that the gesture will encourage and improve the students academically.
The winner, Miss Ojutalayo, in her remarks, thanked the Commission for organising the competition and honouring her; her parents for their unwavering love, support and encouragement describing them as her guiding light and for instilling in her the values of perseverance and hardwork. She also appreciated the Board and Management of the School for providing the right academic environment and standard that aided her emergence as a winner in the competition.
Commenting on some of the challenges the Commission encountered while organising the competition, the DG decried the bureaucracy involved in getting Government schools to participate and urged education authorities, especially the Ministries of Education, both at the State and Federal levels, to open up the space to allow children express themselves creatively.
Dr. Asein further advised schools and their students to join in the fight against piracy by refusing to patronise pirated books or pirating other people’s works. “Piracy is a cankerworm that eats up the very fabric of the nation’s economy as it steals from right owners and kills creativity”, he warned.
He also announced that the Commission is intensifying its proactive enforcement initiatives as well as enhancing the collective management of rights. According to him, the Commission, working with various stakeholders and relevant agencies, has commenced a series of public education and enlightenment campaigns as a prelude to a full scale national antipiracy drive. “With the stiffer penalties available in the new Copyright Act for criminal infractions, the public is well advised to desist from all forms of copyright infringements and abuses”, he added.
The Award Presentation Ceremony had in attendance: representatives of the Oyo State Ministry of Education; Members, Board of Governors Muslim Association of Nigeria, Oyo State Chapter; Staff and Students of the Muslim Model College, Ibadan and family members of the award recipient.