Customs intercepts pirated books, DVDs worth N1.5bn

The Apapa Area Command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has impounded three containers of pirated textbooks, dictionaries, novels and home videos worth N1.5billion.

Speaking while handing over the containers to the Lagos Zonal Manager, Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC), Chris Nkwocha on Thursday in Apapa, Controller of the Command, Comptroller Charles Edike said that the containers, which were imported from China, were discovered during physical examination.

Edike reaffirmed the commitment of the NCS to collaborate with sister agencies in curtailing illegal imports into the country even as he assured that the Service would continue to protect the interest of stakeholders in the copyright community as well as the entertainment industry.

“The Comptroller General has been instructing us that we must make sure that none of such material gets into the Nigerian market because this is a huge lose to the intellectual strength and capabilities and money both to the owners and to Nigeria. All of these would have just gone down the drain if these officers did not get the containers,” he said.

Nkwocha while reiterating the resolve of the commission to check piracy commended the NCS for seizing the pirated materials.

Giving insight into how the containers were impounded, Nkwocha said, “We monitored the consignment from China and we allowed the importer and the agent to do all the payment. Just at the last point of exit, Customs officials stopped the containers on the instruction of the Controller.”

He said the commission had seized close to 20 containers within two years through the commitment and support of the NCS.

“I don’t know what would have happened if these 20 containers were allowed to move into the free market and the market value is about N10 billion. That will be a huge revenue loss to the government and to the owners of these works who spent their money, time, and energy to create these works and end up not getting anything.

“The Director General of the Nigerian Copyright Commission is very happy over this unwavering determination on your part so we are very grateful. With your continued effort, we want to go ahead and seize more to enable the right owners create more jobs,” he said.

Nkwocha reassured the right owners of the literary works of the commission’s determination to bring the persons responsible for the illegal importation of the pirated products to book.



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