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GOVERNMENT APPROVAL OF COSON SPARKS WIDE CELEBRATION ACCROSS THE MUSIC INDUSTRY

Source: nigeriafilms.com
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The announcement by the Director-General of the Nigerian Copyright Commission, Mr. Adebambo Adewopo on Thursday, April 20, 2010 that Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON) has received federal government approval as the sole copyright collective management organization in the music industry has received wide support across the country.

Following the announcement, the COSON office in Ikeja has been inundated with congratulatory messages from music industry stakeholders from every part of the nation. Upon the receipt of the certificate of approval delivered to COSON by an official of the NCC, there was non- stop jubilation as members and staff of COSON joined in exceptional merry making.

Among the many stakeholders who have expressed happiness at the historic development is juju music icon and former Chairman of the Nigerian Copyright Commission, Evangelist Ebenezer Obey-Fabiyi who described the COSON approval as excellent and the work of the Almighty Multi award winning sensation, 2 Face Idibia portrayed the development as sweet and lovely! while his manager, Mr. Efe Omorogbe exclaimed,wonderfu wonderful wonderful!. Alhaji Dan Maraya Jos who spoke on the phone from his Jos base congratulated musicians across Nigeria for what he called monumental victory.

Elegant stallion and Nigeria's Queen of Soul, Ms Onyeka Onwenu was in Abuja when the news broke. She called in to express her joy saying,it may have taken many agonizing years but ultimately the forces of unity within the industry have prevailed over the agents of divide and plunder Velvety voiced singer, Sunny Neji was ecstatic at the news describing the development, as the dawn of a new era. Mr. Edi Lawani, President, Association of Music Business Professionals (AMB. PRO) observed that with the instant celebration across the industry, it is clear that the decision of the government is in tandem with the wishes of the stakeholders. Mr. Lawani called on all industry stakeholders to immediately join hands to make COSON a world class CMO. According to him, anyone attempting to fight the historic development will be swimming against a massive tide.

From across the Niger, congratulatory messages have been received from many including Hon John Ewelukwa Udegbunam, President, Music Label Owners and Recording Industry Association of Nigeria (MORAN) who spoke of tremendous happiness across the eastern states as the news spread. Ace Producer and celebrated musician, Mr. Laolu Akins was one of those who stormed the COSON office in Ikeja as soon as the news was confirmed. He expressed joy at what he described as a historic day and toasted to the success of COSON. Other industry heavyweights like Obi Asika of Storm 360, Audu Makori of Chocolate City Music and Toju Ejueyitchie, Chairman, Nigerian Association of Recording Industries NARI all expressed joy at the resolution of the collective management dispute which had created huge problems for the music industry for a long time. PMAN General Secretary, Mr. Idowu Blessing Akinnehin said that the approval of COSON is the greatest thing to have happened to the Nigerian Music Industry. He commended the NCC for getting it right now.

Reacting to the government approval, COSON Chairman, Chief Tony Okoroji said,We are grateful to the NCC for taking this bold decision. The victory is not for any individual but for the entire music industry. There will be no losers as a result of the COSON approval as we intend to find accommodation for everyone regardless of which side of the argument the person may have been on. The approval is not the end of the struggle but the real beginning. We must show that we deserve the trust that has been bestowed on us and must rise to the challenge and work together to bring true benefits to every stakeholder. By the grace of the Almighty, we will not fail.

Announcing the approval of COSON as the sole music collective management organization in Nigeria at a Press Conference held at Lagos Sheraton Hotel & Suites on Thursday, May 20, 2010, the Director General of the Nigerian Copyright Commission, Mr. Adebambo Adewopo said that three organizations had applied for the approval namely: Wireless Application Service Providers Association of Nigeria (Ltd/Gte), Musical Copyright Society Nigeria (Ltd/Gte), and Copyright Society of Nigeria (Ltd/Gte).

According to Mr. Adewopo, the findings of the Committee set up by the NCC to appraise the applications showed that the application of Copyright Society of Nigeria (Ltd/Gte) demonstrated the highest level of compliance to the statutory and regulatory approval conditions. Furthermore, the Committee also noted that the establishment of COSON followed a broad-based consultative process which allowed for the participation of the majority of stakeholders in the music industry and therefore provided a wider and more accommodating platform to all stakeholders which will make for a stronger and more cohesive collective management.

Membership of COSON cuts across the spectrum of the music industry in Nigeria and includes the likes of Sir Victor Uwaifo, Evangelist Ebenezer Obey, Onyeka Onwenu, Laolu Akins, Dan Maraya Jos, Christy Essien Igbokwe, 2Face Idibia, Sammie Okposo, Olu Maintain, 9ice, Sunny Neji, Rugged Man, DJ Stramborella, Eddy Remedy, Mr. Kool, 2 Shotz, Baba Dee, Bouqui, Rooftop MCs, Kenny Saint Brown, Keffee, Midnite Crew, Eldee De Don, MI, Azeezat, Jazzman Olofin, KC Presh, X Project, Asha, Konga, African China, Owen Gee, Funmi Adams, Majek Fashek, Daniel Wilson, Alex Zitto, Tony Okoroji, Ras Kimono, Stella Monye, Shina Peters, Wale Thompson, Kollington Ayinla, Adewale Ayuba, Orlando Julius, Dekunle Fuji, Lord of Ajasa, Zoolezoo, Ekwe Original Stereoman, Danfo Drivers, Rhymzo, DJ Jimmy Jatt, Muma Gee, AY. Com, ID Cabassa, Klever J, Zidon Poperella, Terry G, Nomoreloss, W4, Omotola Jolade Ekehinde, Yinka Ayefele, OJB Jezreel, Djinee, Blackface, Chris Ajilo and more than one thousand other Nigerian artistes from every part of the country.

FOR: COPYRIGHT SOCIETY OF NIGERIA (COSON)

CHINEDU CHUKWUJI

Acting General Manager