At a press briefing to celebrate the 2015 World Book and Copyright day that held on Thursday, April 23, 2015, the Director-General, National Copyright Commission, Mr. Afam Ezekude, revealed that the implementation of two per cent levy on mobile phones, computers, photocopiers, scanners and similar products would commence soon. The reason as he explained is to ensure that copyrights owners get what is rightful theirs.
He said that the order for the levy had been put in a gazette and was only awaiting the approval of the ministry of finance to commence implementation. The levy order is to be applicable to all imported or locally produced materials used or capable of being used to infringe copyright in a work both imported and manufactured in the country, and it is designed to compensate the right owners for the envisaged infringement.
The NCC boss said, “The copyright levy on particular materials order has not been abandoned. It places a levy on any material either manufactured locally or coming into the country from outside. It imposes a minimum levy on those materials as a way of compensating copyright owners because a lot of these materials such as photocopiers, phones and DVDs that can be used for infringing people’s copyright. We are imposing a levy on them. As we speak, the order is currently awaiting implementation. We are waiting for the nod from the Minister of Finance to actually start implementation, but we are almost there. It is important that the order is implemented so that our right owners will get what is actually theirs.”
He further added, “It is not a tax; it is a levy. Before the levy order was put into a gazette, we actually did relevant consultation with industry people that will be affected by the levy order – the Importers Association of Nigeria and the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria. The consultation was very successful. We had opportunity to explain what we are trying to do and they were happy to key into it and that is why we got to the point of putting it into a gazette and to the point of implementation.
“We could not have done this if the importers and the manufacturers had kicked against it because it would impact on them. They understand how important it is for the right owners to be compensated. It is a levy. It is completely different from a tax.”