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Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister for Justice, Chief Bayo Ojo, SAN, has called on the Nigerian Film Industry to consider the establishment of a Collecting Society, as provided for under the Copyright Law, as a means of strenghtening copyright administration in the film industry.

Ojo said this yesterday, at a stakeholders' forum in Lagos, to review video rental scheme and other emerging challenges in the film industry, organised by the Nigerian Copyright Commission.

He said Nollywood, as the Nigerian film industry is known, has witnessed phenomenal growth, which has made it imperative for government and the private sector to take critical look at issues involving the industry.

According to him, more and more people are being attracted to the industry owing to many investment opportunities it offers, particularly for the small and medium scale enterprises.

Ojo said, "this, for government is an encouraging sign that we have sufficient human endowment to pull Nigeria out of the woods. However, we are worried by the seemingly negative impact of this massive investment migration into the industry, as it is becoming clear that a lot of the participants are either not conscious of, or are negligent in conducting their businesses according to the dictates of good business practices, as well as relevant and regulatory instruments.

"We cannot continue to be passive in the face of ostensible illegality and reckless abuses. There is need to evolve acceptable standards and instill the culture of best practices for the operation of video rental business in a way that will be beneficial to film producers and preserve the benefits available to operators of such outlets," he said.

Ojo said creativity affects a wide spectrum of activities of in the society, it is the foundation on which many other major industries depend for survival. The production and dissemination of films involves not only a considerable amount of financial resources, but also immense human resources. All these would not be possible without assurance that those who invest in these productions would recoup their investment and be rewarded for their efforts.

He said it is for this that government created the Nigerian Cpyright Commission, to facilitate enforcement of the provisions of law which is the framework for ensuring producers of films and other creative work are given their due.

Inspector General of Police, Sunday Ehindero, was represented at the event by Lagos State Commissioner, Emmanuel Adebayo. Other dignitaries include, Justus Esiri, who chaired the plenary session and Eddy Aina of the Nigerian Broadcasting Commission.