Urges President Buhari To Assent Urgently Assent To Amended Copyright Bill 

As Nigeria strives to compete with the rest of the world in knowledge and academic enhancement, publishers in the country have been commended for the enormous roles they play in ensuring that the Nigerian public and educational institutions are equipped with quality books to broaden their knowledge and skills to solving societal problems. 

This commendation is coming from the House of Representatives Deputy Minority Leader, Rt. Hon. Toby Okechukwu who was the chairman of the just concluded 2022 Annual Conference and General Meeting of Nigerian Publishers Association, NPA. 

The lawmaker stressed that apart from economic purposes, publishers contribute immensely to the benefit of mankind through knowledge development, which he says is the bedrock of development in any society. 

“As a matter of fact, if you don’t provide the vehicle to enable people enhance their knowledge, then it will be very difficult for the world to develop. 

“As a matter of fact, it is through reading that understanding and knowledge comes and publishers are the very important medium through which that capacity is brought to the public. 

“It is through reading that you can appropriate the world. You can travel all over the world without moving an inch because through books you can see what happens in other countries. Through publishing, you can export, you can appropriate, you can import ideas”, he said. 

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The ranking House of Representatives member noted that publishers who are producing a vehicle for transfer of knowledge are exporting ideas, urging them not to be discouraged by the challenges surrounding their job, especially copyright infringement but maintain the current visibility they enjoy, will proper them to greater heights. 

He said the National Assembly shares the publishers’ aspirations in protection of their works which led to the passage into law the Copyright Amendment Bill in July this year by the two chambers of the National Assembly, a document that has been transmitted to President Muhammadu Buhari for his assent. 

He therefore urged President Muhammadu Buhari to urgently give his assent to the Bill. 

Rt. Hon. Okechukwu urged members of NPA to follow-up the amended document, just like other organisations do to ensure that President Muhammadu Buhari signs it into law, assuring that the management of the National Assembly will be ready to assist the association perform better as an agent of social change. 

On a lighter note, Rt. Hon. Toby denied being an engineer, saying he read English and Literary Studies and later bagged a Masters Degree in Business Management in addition to his Law background. 

He said he became an “honorary engineer” when the Nigerian Society of Engineers honoured him with the fellowship of the society, the topmost in its list of honours in recognition of the job his committee did when he was the chairman of the House Committee on Works.

The two-day conference of the NPA also featured the recognition with award of excellence to individuals and organisations who have been supportive in raising the bar of quality publishing in the country.

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A print journalist with vast knowledge of political developments in Nigeria. Passionate about equity and fairness through robust developmental journalism.

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