At NIBF 2022, Stakeholders Call for Govt Support for Book Industry, Fight against Piracy

Yinka Olatunbosun

The three-day traditional feast for book lovers, Nigerian International Book Festival (NIBF) 2022 edition came to a wrap last week with stakeholders urging the government to support the book industry and be more aggressive in the fight against piracy. Held at Harbour Point Event Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos, the event which had as its Chief Host, the Executive Governor of Lagos State, Mr Babajide Sanwo-olu as its chief host, was indeed a potpourri of activities.  School competitions, authors’ groove, panelists’ discussions, and of course, the exhibition of a wide range of books in an adjoining wing to the main auditorium were part of the highlights of the literary feast.

In his welcome address at the NIBF International Conference, the Chairman, Nigerian Book Trust Fair, Mr Gbadega Adedapo called on the government to strengthen the book industry with policy formulation to mitigate the economic strain on the book ecosystem. 

“Raw materials for book production are now very expensive and we hereby appeal to the Federal to assist our sector with special fund and adequate support,’’ he said.

During the keynote address with the theme ‘Copyright & Sustainable Growth in the book ‘Ecosystem: Setting A New Agenda,’ the Director-General, Nigerian Copyright Commission, John Asein revealed that there are ongoing efforts at improving the nation’s copyright legislation with a new Copyright bill. 

“Some of the new issues addressed in the bill include the right of remuneration for some categories of copyright owners, special exceptions for the visually impaired and print-disabled persons, provisions concerning technological protection measures, rights management information, an elaborate enforcement mechanism for online infringement as well as stiffer sanctions for criminal infringements,’’ he disclosed.

During the panelists’ session, discussants blamed the strength of piracy in the book industry on the weak infrastructure, stating that Nigeria lacks the facility and capacity to publish large volumes of books- hence pirates fill the void.

The NCC boss suggested that the attack on piracy should be a public-private collaboration between the commission and the stakeholders while educating the public on the economic implications of copyright abuses and their roles as citizens in driving the solutions.

A performance poet and seasoned art journalist, Akeem Lasisi spiced up the conference with his poetic interlude on the theme ‘Copyright’ using a blend of English and oral elements of Yoruba poetry to reiterate the warning message against patronising stolen intellectual works.

Related Articles