The authorities of the Nigerian Copyright Commission said it intercepted and seized pirated products worth N10.3bn between January 2011 and August 2016.
Director General of the Commission, Mr. Afam Ezekude, who disclosed this at a press briefing in Abuja on Thursday, also said that within the same time frame, the agency secured 54 convictions for infringement of copyright.
Answering questions from journalists, Ezekude said the intercepted products originated mainly from the Far East, particularly, China.
He said, “From January 2011 to date, the Commission has carried out 270 anti-piracy operations at various locations in the country, resulting in the seizure of 7,942,683 units of pirated products valued at over N8.1bn, with over 608 suspects apprehended and convictions of 54 copyright pirates at different Federal High Court jurisdictions in Nigeria.
“Apart from the convictions, the Commission also intercepted 25 containers of pirated Nigerian and foreign works and carried out public destruction of 749,316,187 units of seized pirated copyright works and contrivances estimated at N10.3bn across the nation, especially in Lagos, Kaduna, and Enugu states.”
Further 172 cases are at various stages of trial, he said.
The NCC boss said the creative industry spanning film, performing arts, fashion, visual arts, advertising, television, broadcasts, arts and antique and publishing, with a value of $2bn, accounts for 1.42 per cent of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product.
He also announced that the World Intellectual Property Organisation, an arm of the United Nations, has decided to locate its African regional office in Nigeria.
The NCC boss said, “The only other African country granted this privilege is Algeria. The choice emanated out of an intense bid by many major African countries and was initiated by the Commission on behalf of the Federal Government, in collaboration with the Nigerian Permanent Mission in Geneva.