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Sunday, July 21, 2024

NCC Seizes N300m Worth Pirated Books At Onne Port

Onne Port, Port Harcourt, Rivers State

Nigerian Copyright Commission, (NCC), has reportedly seized three shipping containers of 3000 cartons of pirated books with a conservative market value of over N300 million.

Director-General of the commission, Dr John Asein, disclosed this in a press statement made available to newsmen on Sunday in Abuja.

According to Asein, the containers were intercepted at Onne Port, Rivers, in collaboration with NCC enforcement partners – the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) and the Department of State Services (DSS).

The DG disclosed that the copyright of the pirated books belongs to frontline Nigerian publishers: Africana First, Bounty Press, Evans, Learn Africa, Macmillan, Metropolitan and University Press Plc.

“Our main headache used to be with locally printed books which are easy to identify due to their poor production quality.

“But, we have since, seen a surge in the importation of pirated books, especially from Asia with quality, competing with their originals.

“Many of these pirates who are agents of foreign printers now have the audacity to come into Nigeria to scout for businesses.

“Sometimes they share lists of their pirated stock with prospective customers in Nigeria through rogue networks.

“In some cases, the imports are compromised, and the documentation doctored to deceive enforcement agencies,” he said.

The DG also said many pirates were taking undue advantage of the zero duty on books, while unscrupulous importers make false declarations either to evade duty or as cover for smuggling.

He said, the Commission is working with Customs to introduce the online pre-import certification scheme to check illicit imports of books and other copyright materials.

Asein, therefore, alerted importers, clearing agents, booksellers and warehouse owners to carry out due diligence when transacting book business and to always ensure proper documentation. PMN

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