By Peter Egwuatu
The Chairman Learn Africa Plc, a quoted company on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, NSE, Chief Emeka Iwerebon has lamented on pirate activity that has crippled the publishing industry in the country. He disclosed this at the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA)Ikeja branch annual law week 2015, saying “ impunity is one of the dangerous demons that has inflicted the greatest havoc on the national life of Nigerians.
In his opening remarks as the Chairman of the occasion , Chief Iwerebon stated that the theme for this year’s lecture “Curtailing the culture of impunity in our national life” is most suitable for our nation at this period, when our leaders are re-strategising to cleanse the nation of its decade of corruption, mediocrity and highhandedness in public and private sectors.
Defining impunity as a term derived from the word “impunitas“ is a situation where everyone does what he/she likes in disregard for the rule of law, with “no risk of punishment.” It is a state of “no law” but “absolute freedom.”
He said “In the Nigerian parlance, impunity is exhibited in words such as nothing go happen, na today! From the perspective of a book publisher, Chief Iwerebon stated that the culture of impunity has not spared the creativity sector in Nigeria.
For instance, pirates and plagiarists have continued to defile existing copyright legislations to stifle the promotion and protection of intellectual property. Stressing that pirates blatantly violate patent and copyright laws, to the extent that they have taken over the reprint, resale and distribution of intellectual property at the expense of genuine creativity.
Over 80 percent of intellectual property according to the Learn Africa Plc Chairman has been appropriated by pirates thereby affecting the economic growth of the sector.