The Director-General of the Nigerian Copy right Commission (NCC), Mr Afam Ezekude, yesterday said the agency seized about N6billion pirated items following inter-agency cooperation with the Nigeria Customs Service.
Also, the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Mr Ibrahim Lamorde, described piracy as one of the worst crimes.
The NCC helmsman, who made this known during the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with the EFCC chairman in Abuja, said the seized products were stuck in 16 containers.
Ezekude said: “We, in NCC, have a strong policy on piracy. We have developed a corporate strategy, which includes fostering collaboration with sister agencies. It is important for us to strengthen inter-agency cooperation and collaboration.
“The collaboration with the Nigeria Customs Service led to the seizure of 16 containers of pirated items coming into the country. The street value of the items was actually about N6billion.
“We have to stop the inflow of pirated products into the country. We hope the MoU we are signing today with the EFCC will foster similar results like that of the Customs.
“I am aware that we have already started implementing the MoU before we formalise the relationship. A few months ago, a suspect was transferred by the EFCC to NCC for prosecution.”
Ezekude commended Lamorde for the “fantastic job” he has been doing since he came into office.
He added: “You have done well in the last one year. You should remain focused.”
On his part, Mr Lamorde described piracy as one of the worst crimes.
Lamorde said: “It is an intellectual thing. Most people don’t seem to appreciate the magnitude of the crime that is being committed. I think pirating materials or intellectual property that people have taken time to create is one of the worst crimes that all of us should try to address in this country.
“I think you are doing a wonderful job from the various news reports that people are getting. These arrests and interdictions that are being made have reasonably reduced the number of pirated materials coming into the country, even the ones that are not being produced here
“It is a shame that some people take pleasure in just stealing the works of others and making money out of it. And the original owners of such intellectual property end up in abject poverty; they do not see anything which is most unfortunate.”
Lamorde said the EFCC was ready to work with NCC to fight piracy.
Source: The Nation Newspaper
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