The Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) has installed Nigerian legendary singer Bongos Ikwue as its Special Copyright Inspector (SCI) as part of its anti-piracy campaign.
Mr John Asein, Director-General of the Commission, presented Ikwue with an investiture letter and also decorated him during a courtesy visit to his residence on Tuesday in Abuja.
Asein explained that the commission was working with relevant stakeholders in the creative sector to make its anti-piracy enforcement efforts more effective.
According to him, NCC has recently installed its board members as its first set of Special Copyright Inspectors (SCIs) pursuant to section 38 of the Nigerian Copyrights Act 2004, as Amended.
“We are privileged to have Bongos Ikwue as a board member of the Nigerian Copyrights Commission, and his investiture as one of its first set of Special Copyright Inspectors (SCIs) is a good development.
“This is long overdue because for a legend like him to lend his voice against piracy is a major boost to our collective fight against it.
“His music has been used as sound track of many Nigerian movies, including the legendary ‘Cock Crow at Dawn’.
“The first duty of the commission is to ensure that rights owners enjoy the rewards for their creativity and ensure that the creative sector grows and contributes adequately to national economy, ”he said.
The DG further explained that although the SCIs were not employees of the commission, they would serve as volunteers in fulfilling its mandate.
He said that they were to complement the anti-piracy operations of the commission, especially in intelligence gathering and public enlightenment on copyrights issues, among other functions.
In his remark, Ikwue , commended the DG and his management team for the opportunity and recognition given to him and pledged to lend his voice in the collective fight against piracy.
He noted that piracy had remained a menace to the growth of the Nigerian creative industry over the years, and had deprived artistes of their entitlements.
He however called for citizens engagement and awareness to ensure that piracy was seen as a ‘common enemy.’
“I am happy for this honour , and want to appeal to everyone to join the Nigerian Copyrights Commission in the fight against piracy.
“Let us talk to them so we can work together in a harmonious way against piracy for the country to grow,
“It breaks my heart whenever I hear that some of my colleagues have passed-on because they could not take care of their medical bills after working so hard, he said.
The 77-year-old Bongos Ikwue is one of Nigeria’s foremost singers of Idoma extraction.
He was known for for his soulful, folk songs, including the classics “Cockcrow At Dawn”, “Still Searching” and “Otachikpokpo,” among others.
His music is well loved by a vast majority of Nigerians, with a fan base that cut across language barriers and ethnic divides.
He is acclaimed for his dedication to the promotion of Africa and African values by his continuous use of his native Idoma language in his songs.
The septuagenarian was the Chairman of the Board of the Nigerian Film Corporation, and currently a member of the board of Nigerian Copyright Commission.