The Chairman, Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON), Chief Tony Okoroji, has commended Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State for the swift suspension of the Executive Secretary of the Lagos State Film & Video Censors Board (LEFVCB),Dele Balogun for announcing an unlawful and fraudulent five percent levy on producers of musical and audio visual works in the State.
In a statement on the social media page of COSON, Okoroji lauded the action of the Governor adding that, it is usual for governments to rescind decisions made by their officials even when it is clear that the decisions are blatantly wrong.
“When I heard the announcement, I was aghast. I wondered which law gave this government official the power to impose this unworkable special tax or levy on innocent citizens trying to deploy their creativity to earn a living. This is especially crazy in this season of the coronavirus when the income of many people in the creative industry has been crushed and government should be supporting these citizens.
“It appears to me that the creative industry is now seen as a soft target by all sorts of dubious people and their collaborators in government who flex their muscles and believe that they can control and milk practitioners in the industry for quick money”
In the words of the former President of PMAN, “I have spent a significant part of my career fighting lawlessness and abuse of power. It appears that many officers in our governments believe that upon appointment, they have acquired the powers to arbitrarily make laws and impose their shallow ideas on everyone. On their whims and caprices, they impose conditions that make life difficult for innocent citizens when their real job is to make life easier. These people become mini national and state assemblies and hob-nob with crooks and con-men with whom they device a thousand schemes to fleece the citizens”
The COSON Chairman however emphasised the need to further try the suspended secretary so that “the lesson is learnt that Nigeria is a nation of laws and that no one has unrestricted powers to impose pain on the people”