Wednesday, 22 April 2009


Final arrangements are now being made for the much talked about ‘Red Carpet’ launch of Chief Tony Okoroji’s book, Copyright, Neighbouring Rights & the New Millionaires, which holds in Lagos next Tuesday, April 28, 2009. The event which takes place at the main auditorium of the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs in Victoria Island, Lagos is expected to attract the crème of the society and stars from far and near. The organizers of the event have said that they want to use the launch to kick start a major national discussion on Nigeria’s intellectual property landscape.

Chairman of the event will be computer whiz kid and Chairman of Zinox Technologies, Chief Leo–Stan Ekeh. The co-chair will be the Group CEO of UBA Plc, Mr. Tony Elumelu. Mr. Elumelu’s expected key note address on the financing of Intellectual Property projects in a changing Nigerian economy is highly awaited. Also expected to speak at the event is the Director- General of the National Film & Video Censors Board, Mr. Emeka Mba. Arriving Nigeria from Oslo on Monday for the show is Mr. Saemund Fiskvik, a member of the Board of, NORCODE, the Norwegian Copyright Development Association which is a key supporter of the launch. Mr. Fiskvik will also be speaking at the Red Carpet Launch.

Among the high profile personalities that will grace the “Red Carpet” launch is the Head of the traditional institution in the entire South Eastern geo political zone of Nigeria, His Royal Highness, Eze (Dr.) C.I. Ilomuanya. Eze Ilomouanya is both the Chairman of the Imo State Council of Ndieze and South Eastern States Council of Traditional Rulers. The royal farther will be leading other personalities from Imo State as they walk the red carpet at the NIIA venue to honour one of their own. Senator Florence Ita-Giwa, the princess of Bakassi and a life-long supporter of Chief Okoroji is expected to appear in her regal best as she has done in the past at every event that has the imprimatur of Tony Okoroji. She will be the Mother of the Day. Nigeria’s who is who in showbizness are right now dry-cleaning their best attires ready for Tuesday’s red carpet. The leading lights in intellectual Property Law in Nigeria such as Dr Bankole Sodipo, President Intellectual Property Law Association of Nigeria (IPLAN), Professor Egerton Uvieghara, first Chairman of the NCC and Mr. Moses Ekpo, former Director- General of the Nigerian Copyright Commission have all confirmed their presence at the big event.

One of the stars expected to provide what has been described as cutting edge entertainment for the choice audience at the event is London based Nigerian singer, Dizzy K. Falola, who also arrives Lagos on Monday for the show. This special home coming for one of the idols of Nigerian pop music of the eighties and early nineties is to honour the man who discovered him and launched him on the road to stardom.

In several studios around Lagos, feverish activities are going on as pre-production efforts take shape for the book launch of a special kind. In the tradition that Chief Tony Okoroji has established over time, the arrangements for the event are very detailed. Even lovers of football who are attending the Red Carpet launch have been assured that they do not need to rush home under any circumstance. The Chelsea/ Barcelona Champions league semi final match which holds later that evening will be transmitted in living colour on a giant screen at the venue, courtesy of Entertainment Network Konsult (ENK) which is providing the intricate technical requirements for the show, such as audio, lights, multimedia and effects.

Following the launch, a special cocktail party will be held at the foyer of the NIIA. All invited guests to the event have been advised to dress smartly for the special red carpet protocols.

Anyone may ask, why this frenzy about a book launch? This is no ordinary book launch. As President of PMAN, Chief Tony Okoroji led the vanguard for the birth of the Nigerian Copyright Law. Leveraging his immense writing and speaking skills, he co–ordinated rallies and demonstrations across the country and forced the Babangida administration to promulgate the Copyright Act, the lifeblood of the Nigerian creative community. Chief Okoroji has served on the committees that drafted both the Nigerian Copyright Law and its first amendment and was also in the forefront of the efforts that led to the establishment of the body now known as the Nigerian Copyright Commission. He was instrumental to the setting up of both the Nigerian Association of Recording Industries (NARI) and Performing & Mechanical Rights Society (PMRS), the copyright collective management organization. Chief Tony Okoroji is presently Chairman of PMRS. Chief Okoroji has also participated actively in the efforts to reform the laws and management of other parts of Intellectual Property such as Patents, Trademarks and Industrial Designs. Tony Okoroji brought glamour and panache to revolutionize the organization of showbiz events in Nigeria when in 1989 he was dropped from the roof of the main bowl of the National Theatre in Lagos and he went ahead to announce the institution of the annual Nigerian Music Awards. That changed the face of Nigeria’s showbiz forever.

Tony Okoroji’s Copyright, Neighbouring Rights & the New Millionaires establishes a link between a good intellectual property regime and the new knowledge economy with its integration with Information Technology and the Internet, a synergy that is creating enormous wealth around the globe. The book does an unprecedented analysis of the Nigerian copyright and neighbouring right regimes, using free flowing language and easy to relate illustrations to create an invaluable tool for every practitioner in the creative community and every student of intellectual property. The book also gives an insight into the formation of PMAN and PMRS and the challenges of running such complex organizations. The book has been given very high marks by experts around the world.

Mr. Jude Arijaje of Minuteman Press of Philadelphia arrives Nigeria from the USA this weekend with print fresh copies of the book that is guaranteed to make waves.

For: The Committee of Friends of Chief Tony Okoroji

Nigeria's Central Bank Governor Likely To Loose Job

Indications have emerged that the governor of Central Bank Of Nigeria(CBN), Professor Chukwuma Charles Soludo may not return to his post next month when his tenure will expire, chidi opara reports can now report. The CBN governor is presently on a renewable five-year-tenure that expires in May 2009.

The main obstacle to the renewal of the CBN governor's tenure is the North(Northern Nigeria), whose influential politicians and traditional rulers, we gathered have constituted themselves into a secret lobby group to bring pressure to bear on the President not to renew the tenure of the Professor of Economics.

Checks by chidi opara reports revealed that the grouse of this influential lobby group is what it sees as Soludo's anti-North monetary and other economic inputs into the policies of the immediate past administration of rtd. general Olusegun Obasanjo and the present administration of Mr. Umaru Yar'Adua. These inputs the group believe, rendered the North almost economically comatose. "After Soludo's banking consolidation, how many banks did the North end up with?, just two", an aide of one of the political leaders of the North complained to one of our network members in Kano. The CBN under the leadership of Chukwuma Soludo successfully carried out a banking consolidation exercise which saw the industry players pruned down to twenty-five banks.

Another major reason why the CBN governor's tenure may not be renewed is the proposed re-denomination of the Nation's currency, which contacts close to the CBN topshot informed chidi opara reports that the Anambra state born renowned economist is still passionate about and determined to push through if permitted by the Presidency. The re-denomination programme was suspended on the order of the President. This currency re-denomiation if carried out, is expected to considerably check the thriving business of illegal foreign currency dealers, whose principals are believed to be powerful persons from the North. "They have been given the highest position in Customs, so let them forget the CBN", an influential Northern politician was heard telling another at the Malam Aminu Kano International Airport Kano.

The articulate CBN governor is however not resting, chidi opara reports have confirmed information that Professor Soludo have recently stepped up lobby for the renewal of his tenure through the apex Igbo socio-cultural body, Ohaneze Ndi Igbo, his influential Northern friends like Mr. Aliko Dangote and some influential officials of World Bank and International Monetary Fund(IMF). Soludo had acted as consultant to these bodies prior to his becoming CBN governor.