By Tony Ogaga
The National Executive Working Committee (NEWC) of The Performing Musicians Employers’ Association of Nigeria (PMAN) has advised the Minister of Information & Culture, Lai Mohammed that the alleged plagiarization of its barcode initiative is a recipe for disaster
A statement signed by its president, Pretty Okafor read thus: “After thorough review of recent interviews granted by the Honorable Minister of information , Alhaji Lai Mohammed, where the Minister stated that he stopped the implementation of the PMAN Creative Industry Bar Project just because a group of persons approached him and claimed that they were the original PMAN, even though the Minister knows that PMAN is registered hence no group of persons can parade itself as PMAN without the express permission of the Pretty Okafor led executive led executives. In the above light, the action of the minister is disturbing.”
The body also carpeted the minister for not notifying PMAN of the Ministry’s abrupt change of plan after PMAN had already submitted the project’s blurprint to the Ministry of information after which the Ministry had announced its partnership with PMAN at a world press briefing held at the Ministry of information Office in Abuja. On August 12, 2016.
Describing the minister’s claim that he backed away from his initial commitment to the PMAN proposed Initiative because some people came to him claiming they were the original PMAN is ridiculous and frivolous, Okafor continued: “We are confident that the Minister and the Ministry of Information do not have any official records to back such claims and neither was there a petition written to the Honorable Minister by the invisible” PMAN” perpetrators. The Minister’s only defense against PMAN’s copyright infringement allegations is frivolous and the Ministers inexplicable fire brigade approach as recently displayed during implementation of projects designed for the creative industry is a recipe for disaster.”
Stating that PMAN’s legal team is currently investigating how a certain tink tank media got hold of PMAN’s Creative bar-coding project proposal submitted in confidence to the Ministry of Information, Okafor stated that the said agency has confirmed publicly that its own proposal to the Ministry is entirely different from PMAN’s proposal.
“This is very questionable, how did this agency have access to PMAN’S Proposals and its content remains a mystery to PMAN. PMAN seriously doubts that due process was adhered to between the Ministry and the so-called advertising agency.
“The twenty individuals the Minister announced will invest one million US dollars are of particular interest to PMAN, we want to know what sort of arrangements is being made on behalf of the creative industry, especially the music industry, to ensure the Industry is not being sold out to the 20 unidentified individuals.
Commenting on the recent threat to sue PMAN by the Minister. Okafor added: “The threat to sue PMAN for libel will not stop PMAN. PMAN will not be bullied nor will we be intimidated by the Minister of Information’s status, fame or any other designated person or entities that seek to distract or deter the focus of PMAN’S fight for justice and the fight for the rights of over 20 million practitioners of the music industry and the creative industry at large.
“PMAN has confidence in the Buhari led administration because of its emphasis on transparency, accountability and anti-corruption. Therefore, we call on the Presidency to intervene and rescue the creative industry.