Former President of PMAN and Chairman, Copyright Society of Nigeria, (COSON), Chief Tony Okoroji, has made a solemn pledge that COSON will not let down stakeholders in the music industry and the Nigerian nation, stating, “The Nigerian music industry deserves good results and we will give the industry the good results it deserves”. Chief Okoroji was speaking at a meeting with the management personnel of COSON on Monday, November 22, 2010 at the Board room of the society’s new office in Opebi, Ikeja. The meeting was held to review the activities of the society as it marked six months of its approval by the Federal Government as the nation’s sole copyright collective management organization for musical works and sound recordings. Said Chief Okoroji, “It has been six months of wall-to-wall success. Many will be surprised that it is only six months since the COSON approval. It is indeed incredible to think about the amount of activity that has been parked into this six month period with very modest resources. We thank the Almighty that there is nothing that COSON has promised during the period that it has not delivered. That should give everyone the confidence that COSON will ultimately deliver solid results to the Nigerian music industry” Chief Okoroji gave kudos to the Board and management for the tireless work that has been done in six months to set up professional structures for the society to stand on. He observed that never in the history of the entertainment industry in Nigeria has such painstaking effort been made to set up an organization, staff it professionally, provide requisite training for the staff at home and abroad and also provide a conducive environment with the cutting edge technology required by the staff to deliver. Said Chief Okoroji, “I know of people who are concerned about our ability to continue to manage this success, considering the antecedents of our industry. We cannot discountenance that concern but we should not let it slow us down. It should rather propel us not to disappoint the thousands of people who look towards COSON to be the catalyst for change that the Nigerian entertainment industry has been yearning for. For those who may be asking: when will the royalties come? Building a strong CMO is very intricate work. I am very confident that with the solid work we are doing, 2011 will be a year of harvest for the Nigerian music industry. The fruits of our labour will surely come and the baskets of our stakeholders will be full” At the meeting, Mr. Chinedu Chukwuji, COSON’s Acting General Manager, thanked the board for the leadership they have provided the staff. He particularly thanked the Chairman for his total dedication and unequalled sacrifice for the cause of COSON and the entire creative industry in Nigeria . He informed the chairman that every member of staff is conscious of the historic nature of the opportunity they have been given to turn COSON into Africa ’s number one CMO. He further said that everyone in the management understands that they have to work day and night, weekends and public holidays until their work begins to have real impact in the pockets of the stakeholders. COSON Management officers at the meeting include Head of Finance and Administration, Ms Bernice Eriemeghe: Head of Licensing, Mr. Ayoola Daramola:; Head of Datatech, Mr. Vincent Adawaisi, etc. COSON was approved as the nation’s sole collective management organization for musical works and sound recordings on May 20, 2010. Since the approval, the society has been engaged in a robust public campaign. The COSON Stakeholders Forum has been held in different parts of the country with great success. Each forum has been a unique interactive event between the COSON Board and management, Composers, Performers, Publishers, Label Owners, the Broadcast Industry, the Advertising Industry, the telecoms value added providers, the CD replicating plants, the regulatory authorities, etc. Each forum has also been aimed at establishing the relationships between the different stakeholders in a copyright collective management environment. COSON has engaged broadcasting organizations in the east, west, north and south. It has also engaged the General Assembly of Broadcasting Organizations of Nigeria (BON), representing all broadcasting stations in the country, in a historic and successful discussion to break the log jam that has for too long prevented Nigerian musicians from enjoying the fruits of their labour. . COSON has also engaged the hotel industry in unprecedented meetings and discussions. COSON has hosted a technical mission of the World Intellectual Property Organization. COSON officials have also gone outside the country to receive critical technical training. COSON has just moved into new offices in a choice area of Ikeja and has set up a new management team with first class brains and installed the cutting age technology to drive their work. COSON is also at the forefront of a new and vigorous war against piracy across the country which has resulted in the degrading of the once dreaded Alaba piracy cabal and the prosecution of the notorious “Alaba King of Pirates”. COSON, not long ago, appointed one of the most celebrated accounting firms in Nigeria, Olusola Adekanola & Co for the prudent, professional and transparent collection and management of copyright royalties across Nigeria . For the first time in the history of Nigeria , a national mechanical royalty scheme is set to be launched by COSON so that songwriters, composers and publishers are rewarded for their contributions to the making of music. It has been six months of non-stop action during which time COSON has straddled the nation’s entertainment industry with its now famous slogan, “Let the music pay!”
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