Latest information from Uyo, the capital of Akwa Ibom State, signify that the government and the creative community in Akwa Ibom State are making concerted preparations to give a rousing welcome to a top delegation from Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON), the nation’s wave making copyright collective management organization for musical works and sound recordings which arrives Uyo on Sunday, March 12, 2017, for a three-day official visit.
Leading the COSON Delegation to Akwa Ibom will be the celebrated former President of PMAN and Chairman of COSON, Chief Tony Okoroji, the author of “Copyright & the New Millionaires” who is probably Africa’s best known intellectual property activist.
One of the highlights of the visit will be the entering of the name of Chief Moses Ekpo into the COSON Roll of Honour and the presentation of the associated medal and plaque. The unassailable public servant, Moses Frank Ekpo, was the first Director of the Nigerian Copyright Council. When the council was transformed into the Nigerian Copyright Commission, Ekpo became the commission’s first Director-General. Before Ekpo, the copyright system in Nigeria was just an idea and a dream. Ekpo assembled the wheels and the wings that made the idea to move and the dream to fly. A consummate sales man of profound ideas, Moses Ekpo spared himself no inconvenience as he went to every nook and cranny of Nigeria promoting this strange concept called copyright and constructing the vehicle in which it is driven till date. If copyright is no longer such a strange concept, Nigerians have Ekpo to thank. Moses Ekpo’s immeasurable service in different capacities to his fatherland has found great acceptance in his native Akwa Ibom State where he was the first Commissioner for Information and today, the Deputy Governor. There probably would have been no COSON in the nation, revolutionizing copyright royalty collection and distribution in Nigeria, without the hard work done by Moses Frank Ekpo MFR.
Another highlight of the COSON storm of Akwa Ibom State will be the historic gathering of top musicians, songwriters, composers, music publishers, performers, record companies, broadcast stations, hotels, night clubs, restaurants, transport companies., etc. from different parts of Akwa Ibom and Cross River states at a special COSON Stakeholders Forum. The event which will hold on Tuesday, March 14, at the Emerald Event Centre in the center of Uyo will also be attended by top government officials including representatives of the Nigerian Copyright Commission, the Federal Government agency that regulates copyright in Nigeria.
Speaking on the forthcoming forum, COSON General Manager and Intellectual Property expert, Mr. Chinedu Chukwuji said, “We are leaving no stone unturned in putting together a first class event in Uyo. The successes of our previous stakeholders’ events are indicative that we are making steady progress, especially with the recent forums held in Owerri and Ibadan. I am confident that stakeholders across the country are willing to put in the energy and make the necessary sacrifice to ensure that the copyright system works. The entire COSON team is looking forward to a truly successful stakeholders’ forum in Uyo”
In the last six years, COSON has distributed hundreds of millions of Naira as copyright royalties to thousands of musicians and organizations in the music industry across Nigeria, something that was considered impossible not long ago. Across Africa, COSON is respected as one of the most professional copyright collective management organizations. In every corner around the globe, COSON is represented by about 140 collective management organizations with which the wave making Nigerian organization has reciprocal representation agreements.
One of the happiest persons in Nigeria today may be the octogenarian Akwa Ibom State born musician, Emmanuel Ntia, who has worked hard and prayed fervently for COSON to visit Akwa Ibom State. Ntia says that the visit of COSON is “a dream come true”.
With huge expectations, come March 12, 2017, the ‘Land of Promise’ is sure to reverberate with the now famous COSON slogan, “Let the music pay!”.