To enable Lagos-based hotels weather the storm of COVID-19 pandemic, the Musical Copyright Society of Nigeria (MCSN) has decided to grant them 2-year concessions, from 2020 to 2021.
The Chief Executive Officer of MCSN, Mr. Mayo Ayilaran made this known recently when the collecting society held a joint press conference with Hotel Owners and Managers Association of Lagos (HOMAL).
According to him, the Society sympathized with the hotel owners and managers during the lockdown when all their businesses were shut down for five months, and also when the government eased the restrictions on movement, the hospitality sector was asked to stay closed.
“The collateral effect of this shut down was that music practitioners (performing musicians, DJs, dancers, dramatists etc) were not able to ply their trades. This implies that our members who are composers, authors, publishers, performers and producers of music are equally affected by the pandemic,” Ayilaran reiterated.
He added: “To this end, having given due consideration to the plight of members of HOMAL, as we share virtually the same pain, MCSN has decided to give certain concession and discounts to the paying members for the years 2020 and 2021, depending on individual’s past compliance. It is our hope that this gesture will further strengthen our cordial working relationship as we continue to add our quota to the nation’s economy as providers of essential services.”
Speaking, HOMAL president, Chief S.O Alabi, used the occasion to call on the Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) to use its extensive enforcement powers to sanitize the music industry. He also called on the Lagos State government to review the “high and unfair” rates imposed on hotels, considering that the rates for manufacturing companies, which have fully occupancy of their lands and facilities are far less. He equally urged the state government and federal government to extend their palliatives to members of HOMAL.
“We hereby use this opportunity to appeal to the Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu to kindly direct that hotel and allied business be categorized separately with a rate less than that of manufacturing premises. If this is done, it will go a long way to provide financial succour for hospitality stakeholders who had lost billions to the ravaging pandemic,” Alabi pleaded.
Meanwhile, the Performing Musicians Employers Association of Nigeria (PMAN) has expressed happiness over the engagement of MCSN and HOMAL. Represented at the occasion by its 2nd Vice President, Zakky Azzay, the PMAN president, Mr. Pretty Okafor, said the collaboration between MCSN and HOMAL was a positive development.
“We are grateful to the Hotel Owners and Managers Association (HOMAL) for this laudable step and their contribution towards respecting the rights of creators, and knowing that we are all in this together as partners in progress. We stand with MCSN in its activities and protection of rights of creators of music. We encourage all music and intellectual property users like broadcasters and other users’ associations/unions to respect the rights of authors and composers of works by paying due royalties to MCSN in line with the Copyright Act and NBC code.”