Commission tasks Nigerans on reading culture

The Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) has called on Nigerians to embrace reading and support the creative industry.

Its Director-General, Dr John Asein, said this in a statement in Abuja on Saturday while commemorating the 2022 World Book and Copyright Day.

He also urged Nigerians to show more respect for copyright as a veritable tool for wealth creation and sustainable national development

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) has set aside every April 23 to promote reading and celebrate authors and books.

This year’s theme ‘Read…so you never feel alone,’ highlights the relevance of reading as an aspect of life that has social bearing on the individual and society.

Asein said that the commission, as an agency of government responsible for the promotion, regulation and enforcement of copyright, recognised the importance of reading as the bedrock of creativity.

“The theme for this year, therefore, underscores the importance of books to the acquisition of knowledge and as catalysts for national development.

“With other agencies and stakeholders in the book and knowledge industry, we must put a lie to the old stereotype that the best place to hide something from black people is in a book.

“To this end, the Commission will be doing more to promote the culture of reading as a pastime for entertainment, enlightenment and education.

“As we strive to protect copyright, we should also be committed to the sustainable use of copyright products, such as books to promote the values and aspirations of society.

“In promoting respect for copyright, we must also strive to maintain a congenial atmosphere for creative enterprises to flourish,” director-general said.

According to him, the Commission is reviving Copyright and Creativity Clubs in schools to, amongst other things, promote reading and respect for creativity.

“Also, in the spirit of the Marrakesh Treaty and the Discrimination Against Persons With Disabilities (Prohibition) Act, the Commission is also championing the campaign to allow more blind children have access to books and learning materials.

“We call on publishers to embrace this initiative and make more books  accessible for the benefit of persons who are blind, visually impaired or otherwise print disabled.

“The new Copyright Bill that was recently passed by the Senate makes provision for the domestication of the treaty.

“This further shows the Federal Government’s commitment to its policy of inclusiveness, equal access and non-discrimination against persons living with disabilities,” he said.