By Evelyn Osagie
The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has impounded two containers of 80,882 pirated textbooks and dictionaries worth N80 million.
Speaking during inspection of the intercepted imported pirated books at the Lagos Zonal Office of the Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC), Deputy Comptroller, Enforcement, Nigeria Customs Service Tincan Port, Mr B.N. Obiakulusi, reemphasised NCS commitment to the fight against contraband goods, particularly pirated books brought into the country through the ports.
Obiakulusi, who was at the inspection, which also doubled as handing over ceremony of the imported pirated books to NCC, said the Nigeria Customs has also intercepted two more containers of pirated books which it hopes to hand over to NCC anytime soon.
“Before now people carry all these books and like the DG said, you can’t differentiate between the original and the pirated copy, but through our collaboration with NCC, we are able to intercept the pirated books.
“I assure you no pirated book will escape our watch. As we speak we have two more containers which will be handed over to NCC anytime soon. We are working earnestly to make sure we bring all these things to a stop. I commend NCC DG for his efforts at fighting piracy and his staff for their aptness in searching for pirated books,” he said.
He added: “The first container, according to NCC, contained about 720 cartoons of books which included New Concept English for Senior Secondary School by Learn Africa, Macmillan Champion Mathematics and Lantern Books.
“The second container contained about 705 cartoons of various titles that included books by Africana First Publishers Plc, Tonad Publishers Ltd and Oxford Dictionary and Modern Biology.”
NCC DG, Mr John Asein, said: “ “Through the combined efforts of NCC and the Nigeria Customs Service, these consignments totaling 80, 882 copies of pirated books belonging to different Nigerian publishers with a market value of over N80 Million, were intercepted at Tincan Port.
“The seizure should send a clear message to importers of pirated copyright materials and other copyright predators on the resolve of the government to fight piracy on all platforms using every available legislative, regulatory, administrative and policy initiatives. It is our hope that this synergy will be sustained for the good of the book industry in Nigeria.”
The event was attended by Nigerian Publishers Association chairman Hon. (Mrs) Folashade Shinkaiye; Managing Director, Lantern Books, Mr. Tunde Lawal-Solarin; MD of Africana First Publishers Plc, Mr Austin Onwubiko; President, Booksellers Association of Nigeria, Mr. Dare Oluwatuyi, and University Press PLC, Mr. Sanya Olusegun.
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