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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Breaking news! No more free music in Naija from Oct 1 - as COSON engages accounting firm for full copyright licensing.

Mr Chinedu Chukwuji, COSON Acting General Manager; Chief Tony Okoroji, COSON Chairman; Mr. Kehinde Oyeleke, Managing Partner

Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON), the nation’s sole government approved collective management organization for musical works and sound recordings has announced that come October 1, 2010, the era of free music on Nigerian air waves and in public places will be gone forever. The announcement was made by COSON Chairman, Chief Tony Okoroji, at the Boardroom of the society in Lagos during the signing of a royalty collection agreement between COSON and Olusola Adekanola & Co, one of the nation’s foremost indigenous firms of chartered accountants.

The implication of the new regime is that from October 1 all broadcast media organisations, hotels, restaurants, event venues, advertising companies, banks, telecoms establishments, airlines, road transporters, oil companies and such other enterprises in Nigeria which use music in any way to aid their operations will be made to comply with the Copyright Act or face legal consequences.
Omo wahala has sheled...who will agree to pay? Ko ma funny o!
Can this work in Nigeria?

By the agreement, the skills and resources of the two organizations are being aggregated to ensure that starting October 1, no organization using music in a commercial setting or in public anywhere in Nigeria is allowed to do so without the payment of copyright royalties as required by law. According to Okoroji, “Since the government approval of COSON in May, we have engaged the key users of music in continuous dialogue. We have taken the COSON Stakeholders’ Forum around the country and used different media to discuss the issues with all concerned. We did not jump on anyone neither did we harass anyone. We have been very professional about our mandate. The time has finally come for everyone to do their duty. We have respected the users of music. We expect them to reciprocate that respect. Any of them that is not licensed by October 1 may be attracting sanctions from us or will be exposed to the full weight of the other tools in our tool box”

The firm of Olusola Adekanola & Co is very well known in Nigeria when it comes to revenue collection. The firm pioneered the nation-wide Accelerated Revenue Generation Programme (ARGP) which has helped governments across the country to recover billions of Naira owed them in tax revenues. For several years, they have been one of the nation’s top accounting firms.

At the agreement signing ceremony during the week, Chief Okoroji said that the choice of Olusola Adekanola & Co for the COSON assignment was based on the firm’s proven capacity to deliver. He said that their mandate is to use their nationwide infrastructure to reach every nook and cranny of Nigeria and collect the money due to long suffering Nigerian copyright owners. He added that beyond the collection of revenue, COSON is very mindful of the prudent, professional and transparent management of the copyright royalties collected so that at the end of the day the real copyright owners are not short changed. Said Okoroji, “It’s a watershed event that COSON has as partner one of the most celebrated accounting firms in Nigeria to ensure robust enforcement of the Copyright Act. The transparent management of the funds that will arise from this partnership is critical. We don’t want any stories told about the money collected. It must get to the copyright owners accurately. We are stoutly determined to do a good job in the interest of all the stakeholders in the Nigerian music industry”

The Acting General-Manager of COSON, Mr. Chinedu Chukwuji, described the signing ceremony as “the dawn of a new day for the entire Nigerian music industry”. According to him, the agreement signing ceremony showed that COSON was “ready to deliver the dividends of creativity to rights owners, across the country and beyond,”

The Managing Partner of Olusola Adekanola & Co., Mr. Kehinde Oyeleke, said his company was aware of the enormity of the assignment and as such would put all hands on deck. “We feel excited and challenged. We know expectations are very high and we will give it our best”, Oyeleke said. He promised that his company will carry out its duties diligently, professionally and conscientiously, within the provisions of the law.



Child spacing: How desirable?

The new generation men and women see children as much as nine as a burden.

Today’s men and women say that as a medical doctor, the woman would have devised means of spacing the children. This, therefore, brings us to the issue of family planning, or better referred to as child spacing.

In a typical African setting, if you ask a man how many children he has, he feels reluctant to respond because, it is somehow a taboo to count or number the off springs, (which are believed to be gifts from God).

Funny enough, the African man forgets that in a modern world, demography statistics is vital to government planning for its citizenry.

Gaping or allowing a fallow period between one birth and the next is simply known as child spacing. The method could also allow one to determine and produce the number of children he is able to cater for.

For instance, during the former military President Babangida’s era, four children were proposed for a typical Nigerian family. Whether Nigerians have conformed to this or not is a different tale.

No doubt, when you talk of family planning, the religiously inclined will be quick to quote… ‘be fruitful and multiply”, from the scriptures. But don’t forget that the responsibility of bringing up the child in the way pleasing to the Almighty, (for him to be responsible to the home and the community) lies in you and not spirits or angels.

Certainly, raising children can be one of the most challenging yet fulfilling; a frustrating yet rewarding task any human can attempt.

Is child spacing really necessary? According to Dr Hauwa Larai Goni, a public health physician, “child spacing is good for the womb and the body of the woman to recover fully after delivery”.

Speaking further, she said “this will help the baby’s breastfeeding optimally before the next pregnancy”.

Sadly, most couples do not discuss family planning. It is like a no-go area coupled with the myths surrounding it. “My husband believes that a woman becomes promiscuous with child spacing”, Amina, 28, a mother of six, told TalkShop.

Pitifully, women like Aminat look quite wrinkled and older than their age because their bodies have sagged due to non stop delivery – un-spaced child birth.

Asking who bears the brunt of un-spaced children is crass. For some men, getting sozzled after the birth of a desired sex (as it is in some culture, where only a male is a child, and the female is cheap and irrelevant) is the ultimate; the burden of rearing and educating the child is left to the mother, who some times vends for the children in thick and thin of times.

Rather than take up responsibility, such men build harem and take pride in having many children as assets.

What is the essence of bearing children you will starve of love? Children need love, wither and without. Anthropologist M .F. Ashely Montagu wrote: “what the human organism requires most for its development is a nutriment of love. The source of virtually all health is an experience of love, especially within the first six years of life”.

Children suffer serious crippling effects when exposed to inadequate diet of love. A loveless and selfish world, no doubt, is a strain in family bond. A place where love thrives regardless the status is a healthy environment.

Children need the best we can give, and the best affects their overlapping physical, intellectual and emotional needs.

What is best or at least good for children is and must be a human development priority for every home or government.

Making it such a priority is the surest proof that one is committed to ensuring the well-being of its people and stemming the tide of poverty, and suffering that threatens to engulf us all.

The truth is that ignorance kills silently and faster than a virus. Let us be responsible and cater for the children who are the future. Visit any family planning centre near you today, there you will be told what is best for you.

Below is TalkShop’s sampled opinion on child-spacing:

“Ever since I found the right method for me, I am relieved. Child spacing has helped me out of the fear of getting pregnant and avoiding unwanted pregnancy”, Nancy, 38, mother of six said.

“My husband believes women become promiscuous with child spacing methods”, Aminat, 28, mother of six explained.

“I am still looking up to God for a child, so I don’t think family planning is for me”, declared Marie, 31.

“Because of the economic crunch, I subscribe to family planning”, Kantudu, 40-year-old father of four and a grocery seller submitted.

“I have not found any method that is suitable for me. All the ones I have tried failed me. If I get any that is okay for me, I will stick to it. I believe child spacing is very good”, Aisha, 41, mother of nine confirmed.

“I have always dreamt of having two kids and I have got them now. Though my wife says three, I strongly recommend family planning, it allows you to give the best to your kids, Arch A.L, father of two noted.

Story by Imabong “Ladipo-Sanusi

Project Fame: Why Christian Was Sent Out


Ultima Studios, the producers of MTN Project Fame West Africa have announced that Christian, one of the most likely contenders for this year’s top prize, had to leave the Academy ‘on medical grounds’.

According to inside information, corroborated by a statement from the company, Christian had, earlier in the week, lost his eye-sight, while in his hotel room. ‘It took Doctors about eight hours to help him see again’ a source says.

It happened again the next day, and after running all the tests, the Doctors, an Ultima Spokesperson says, advised he avoid any vigorous activity and go back to Ghana to monitor his health, if possible.

This is sad, on many grounds. The young man was one of the few animated performers who gave his all into learning the music craft, and performing.

Christian left Nigeria for Ghana on Friday, and has already told his friends he’s back to take care of his health, and possibly return to the Academy.

‘It’s another big blow to us’ says Ultima boss Femi Ayeni. Recall that only few weeks ago, the show had to be moved to a temporary studio after Ultima’s Studio got razed by a nasty inferno that spared nothing.

With Christian’s withdrawal, there are now six contestants remaining in the Academy, following the eviction of Adebola during last Saturday’s programme

Story by Victoria Ige

A Ruggedmans’ Ordeal with the Nines.

Ruggedy vs 9ice

Micheal Stevens a.k.a Ruggedman would on the 20th of September 2010 add another year to his roughly mid thirty something years. Never would he have thought that he’d receive a diss track/album as his birthday gift from a colleague that once called him boss, a colleague that championed the hit single off his sophomore album hailing him ‘ruggedy baba the opomulero’ too bad! The Alapomeji camp just released a diss track titled ‘Talk am listening’ which featured Seriki.

The last time I checked Micheal never had it well with the Nine’s, first was the ego battle with erstwhile lyricist Modenine and off recent the very famous phone conversation with 9ice about the rumours of him (Rugged) sleeping with his ex-wife. It’s safe to say the Ruggedman has been doomed by the 9’s. The off recently quiet but twitter vibrant Micheal has evidently run out of ideas as to boosting his musical career even after putting out two singles from his much talked about last album which has taken longer than expected to drop. Teaming up with the Loopy crew, putting Ice Prince on a track and doing all that can be done to impress on the ‘She n my swagga’ track with production from Sossick, the ruggedman still couldn’t make things work, the best thing that has happened to him in recent times has been hosting the Star Quest show and starring in the Glo blackberry advert.

The past few years have not been too impressive for the rapper in the Music Industry from the indirect disses to Modenine urging him to mention his name to the known talking to you featuring Banky W where modenine took a direct jab at him with the famous punchline “you are not a father you’ve got intellect myopia, when I diss a baba its not Ethiopia” followed by the indirect reply by ruggedman in Banging, to the popular death blow part one where the Baba lost any lyrical credibility that he ever had.

The Discord with 9ice began with rumours of him been the cause of 9ice’s broken marriage and also the character portrayed in the song once beaten twice shy; thought to be giving a head by his ex-wife. He thought it as a smart move to record a conversation he had with 9ice on phone, release it online to prove his innocence, but that leak was the beginning and a catalyst for this song. Talk i’m listening 9ice sang repeatedly and in the first verse Seriki whitewashed Ruggedy reiterating one of Modenine’s line in death blow where he said Ruggedman was sleeping with his dancers. In the second verse 9ice went very direct mocking Ruggedman by calling him a bastard repeatedly. 9ice’s ex-wife Toni Payne appears to be caught in the middle in all of this has she tweeted her frustration on the whole scenario, affirming that Ruggedman releasing the phone coversation was a dumb move but 9ice releasing a track/album to that effect was insane and way childish.

The big questions??
Would ruggedman reply this diss song? If he does what would he say? One of the reasons he gave for not replying Modenine in his words was that he was too busy to think of a ‘broke lyricist’. So what would he make the base of his Braggadocio now? Or would he let this also fade away? The truth is whatever he does, Micheal Steven’s musical career did dwindle and the whole diss saga he is surrounded by establishes an unimaginable manifestation of Karma.

Story by Dro