October 21, 2014 – The Broadcasting Organizations of Nigeria (BON) has cautioned broadcasting stations in the country that have not complied with the COSON/BON/IBAN/NBC/NCC agreement signed in May 2014, to immediately do so, stressing that BON is a responsible organization and will not protect any recalcitrant member.
Speaking at the 61st General Assembly of the organisation in Gombe, BON Chairman, Malam Abubakar Jijiwa said, the owners of musical copyright and broadcasters must continue to work together for a vibrant broadcast industry.
” I am very pleased that BON and COSON have signed a document that makes it binding on all radio and television stations in this country to pay royalties to the owners of music copyright. This is an international best practice and Nigeria is a democracy. There is no reason why we should not be part of the international best practice”, he said.
Malam Jijiwa who is also Director-General of Voice of Nigeria said it is not enough to say that musicians come to their stations begging for them to be heard or to be recorded.
“It is not enough. It takes a lot of sweat and ingenuity and creativity for them to compile a record, compile a song and play it. Therefore, they must be paid what is due to them”.
Also speaking at the occasion, Executive Secretary of BON, Mr. Segun Olaleye explained that the agreement was carefully negotiated over several months and that the royalty rates are very modest, since they have been categorized in accordance with the zone where each station is located and the nature of broadcasting the station operates.
He said that there was no good reason any more for any station not to pay music copyright royalties in Nigeria.
In his remarks, COSON Chairman, Chief Tony Okoroji, thanked the leaderships of Broadcasting Organizations of Nigeria (BON), Independent Broadcasting Association of Nigeria (IBAN), National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) and the Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) for acting in the interest of the nation and resolving the crisis over royalty payment.
He said that the way the matter was addressed was ample proof that Nigerians can solve their problems intelligently.
Okoroji said that everyone in Nigeria must understand that the respect for intellectual property rights is critical to the nation’s economy at a time when Nigeria seeks alternative employment for its teeming population and sustainable contribution to the country’s GDP.
He thanked the stations which have so far complied with the COSON/BON agreement and appealed to the stations which have not done so to avoid another series of litigation which at the end of the day, will cost the stations far more than the copyright fees and results in strained relationships.
He reminded the stations that as the country crosses over to digital broadcasting in 2015, there will be greater demands for content which will either be produced by the stations or paid for and that everyone must be prepared since the era of free content is gone.