Mr. Ibrahim Idris, the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), has announced plans by Nigeria Police to set up anti-piracy units in its offices in all the states of the Federation, including Federal Capital Territory, to fight piracy of intellectual property.
He made this disclosure following a request from the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, who led a delegation of creative industry stakeholders on a courtesy visit to his office in Abuja on July 24, 2017.
The IGP nominated three senior police officers, including two Deputy Inspectors-General of Police, Force CID and Operations, to work with the Ministry of Information and Culture as well as the stakeholders to prepare a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) to renew and sustain the battle against piracy.
The Minister said he led the leaders of the creative industry to meet with the Inspector-General to solicit his support for a sustained fight against piracy, which is preventing the practitioners from reaping the rewards of their labour.
“I want to thank the police for helping us to combat piracy and to solicit for more cooperation in the fight against piracy” he said, adding “Piracy is a crime. You cannot take the sweat, labour and intellectual work of an individual, reproduce and sell it without his or her consent.”
Alhaji Mohammed commended the contribution of the Creative Industry to the nation’s development, saying it contributes 1.42% of the GDP, employs millions of people and puts Nigeria on the global map.
The Minister said “the works of actors, actresses, musicians, fashion designers, etc, have travelled widely and they (practitioners) are good Ambassadors of Nigeria. However, their industry is under threat and we must find a way to save it,”
He said he recently hosted creative industry stakeholders at a roundtable and a conference and that the biggest complaint from both meetings was the negative impact of the activities of piracy on the industry.
Alhaji Mohammed said the stakeholders in the creative industry have resolved to support the police to achieve the goal of stamping out piracy.