Nigeria’s collecting society for the musical industry kicks off tomorrow with COSON Week, her annual event from 29 October–4 November 2017.
From what I hear from the COSON Chairman, Chief Tony Okoroji, this year’s event promises to be explosive. I’m not surprised! When some of Nigeria’s finest minds in the creative industry would be gathering to address an issue so key to unlocking the nation’s economic potential and growth, you know what’s coming to hit you.
To get it all started, the keynote speaker is Geoffrey Onyeama, Nigeria’s Foreign Affairs Minister! If you think Mr Onyeama should rather be mediating somewhere between the US and North Korea, wait for this: Mr Onyeama was formally Deputy Director General of World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) from January 2009–November 2015. He only assumed the office of the Nation’s Foreign Minister the same month he left WIPO. And guess what the former WIPO Deputy will be speaking on? ‘Intellectual Property Rights in the New Global Knowledge Economy’. Welcome back to the IP world, Mr Onyeama, at least for this week!
How about the Guest of Honour? Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the Minister of Information & Culture. The Minister has been showing great interest in the creative industry. Thankfully, the COSON Week is not being produced abroad, but right in Four Points by Sheraton, Victoria Island, Lagos, otherwise …
But the COSON Week is not a party for only Ministers. One of the dignitaries is Emeritus Professor, Egerton E. Uvieghara, the first-ever Chairman of the Governing Board of the Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC). Little wonder the Emeritus Professor is widely referred to as “Father of Intellectual Property in Nigeria”. Basil Udotai, Managing Partner of Technology Advisors and IP & Cybercrime lawyer, is also one of the dignataries expected to take the podium at the COSON Week.
And since the event is happening at Four Points by Sheraton, Lagos, COSON has put together an able 4-person panel for the event. The Panel is made up of Obi Asika: Lawyer, COSON Board Member & Co-Founder, Cabal Entertainment; Mena Ajakpovi: Lawyer, Chairman at Nigerian Bar Association Section on Business Law; Uche Nwuka: Economist, Group Head at Creative Industry section, Bank of Industry; and Emeka Mba: former DG, National Film & Video Censors Board & former DG, National Broadcasting Commission.
Is the event for the public? No, it’s strictly by invitation. Only those with their invitation cards would be admitted into the venue, says the organizers. If you don’t have COSON’s invitation card, sorry. I wasn’t invited too (perhaps a mix-up somewhere!). I must say, however, that an event such as COSON Week should be a big opportunity to enlighten the public about copyright. The organizers should seriously consider making the event open to the public in the future, even if it’s by RSVP.
My boss, Senator Iyere Ihenyen, Lead Partner, Infusion Lawyers, will be there anyway. All of us at Infusion Lawyers wish COSON a successful program.
Written by Gabriel Eze