Glo Ambassador and Nigerian music star, Sammie Okposo, has bared his mind on the crisis rocking the music industry in Nigeria against the backdrop of the face-off between the Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria (BON) and Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON).
In a statement made available to newsmen in Lagos, Okposo said ‘I believe in the growth and advancement of the Nigerian entertainment industry. I also strongly believe that artistes should be paid royalties for their various works and that is what informed my becoming a member of COSON. All the media houses in Nigeria and COSON have to sit together and forge a way out of this storm by finding a lasting solution’.
‘We must understand the importance of COSON regarding the growth and welfare of Nigerian artistes and at the same time, we cannot undermine the role of media houses in the propagation and promotion of the Nigerian brand of music’, he added
Calling on BON DG to obey time tested world standard best practices, he said ‘the radio and TV stations in Nigeria really do not have a choice in this matter because payment of royalties for airplay to artistes is internationally accepted and practiced, and Nigeria will not be an exception’.
However, he also called on COSON to be on top of its game by being transparent and accountable: ‘The idea behind COSON is right and good for the Nigerian music industry but I must say that until proper accountability and transparency is made by COSON, I do not think this whole idea of collecting royalties for airplay on behalf of artistes will work’.
Commenting on the ban slammed by BON on all COSON members, Okposo said it was not the best decision and called on media houses to continue to play his music and that of every other Nigerian artiste. ‘There can be no vacuum in life. The implication of the ban is that foreign music will once more rule our airwaves as was the case in the past and this has cultural implications for Nigerians as a people. So we must continue to promote Nigerian music as this is not negotiable. All the hard work that Nigerian artistes have done over the years to make Nigerian music a global brand will go down the drain if this is not resolved. We must remember that Europe, America, Asia and the rest of the world will not promote our music for us, so we must do it on our own’.