Nigeria music icon, Innocent Idibia, popularly known as Tuface, has urged Nigerians to shun pirated intellectual materials, just like adulterated drugs.
“If pirated copyright materials do not have people to buy them, they will stay on the shop shelves and the shops will eventually close.
“But if we continue to patronise them, the pirates will continue to sell,’’ Idibia told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.
He also implored the government and agencies saddled with the enforcement of anti-piracy laws, to be decisive in the clamp down on culprits.
“They are criminals, just like the thieves we catch on the streets,” he said.
According to him, the agencies should go all out and eliminate piracy as no crime syndicate should be stronger than the government.
“We know that it cannot be wiped out in one day, it will take time, but we all should come on board and start on the right path.
“ To be honest with you, corruption is the reason why piracy is still a major issue in Nigeria.
“If radio stations are not paying royalties, government should know that they are losing a lot. They should help artistes get royalties, so that we can also pay tax for the nation’s development.
“ If the government knows that these artistes have to pay heavy taxes and they are going to make a lot of money from collecting these taxes, they will do something,” he said.
Idibia expressed disappointment that the police could not see people who sell pirated compact discs and other copyright materials as criminals.
“If you complain, the police will look at you, just like you want to deny these boys of their means of livelihood. They do not even know it’s a crime, and it is a punishable offence; so, it is a serious issue,” he said.
Idibia said that his desire was to see the return of high quality music to Nigeria in terms of production and its packaging.
“When this happens and you sell it for the appropriate price, we will be able to make more money and be able to compete with our counterparts in other parts of the world.” (NAN)
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