Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON), Nigeria’s biggest copyright collective management organization, has resumed the full distribution of royalties with the sum of =N=208.5 million earmarked for its members and affiliates. This followed a resolution adopted by the members at the 2023 Annual General Meeting of the society held this Tuesday, November 7, 2023 at the magnificent COSON House in Ikeja, Lagos.
Of the amount, the sum of N62,664,000.00 (Sixty-Two Million, Six Hundred & Sixty-Four Thousand Naira) was set aside as “Palliative Royalty Distribution”. The money is being split equally among all members of the society whose names appear on the society’s register as at 19th May 2022, as palliatives, to ameliorate the pressing economic situation in the country. The remaining sum of N145,836,000 (One Hundred & Forty-Five Million, Eight Hundred & Thirty-Six Thousand Naira) will be distributed to all qualified members as “Specifics Distribution”.
The motion to ratify the decision of the Management Board, made at its meeting of September 12, 2023, that the AGM approves the distribution, was made by Mr. Tony Ukate, a COSON member from Edo State and supported by Sir Edwin Mary Akwaeze from Imo State.
The COSON AGM which was attended by musicians and music industry stakeholders from across Nigeria, was presided over by Chief Tony Okoroji, Chairman of the society. In his very detailed address to the AGM, punctuated by repeated applause, Chief Okoroji said “I want to assure members of COSON and our international partners that the period of the locust is almost at an end and that with the approval of the members, COSON will today, fully resume the distribution of royalties and benefits to our members and affiliates everywhere. God willing, before you leave here today, your phones will begin to receive the alerts.” True to Okoroji’s words, before the meeting was over, the phones of many COSON members began to buzz as the money began to hit their accounts.
A highlight of the AGM was the approval of the audited financial statements of the society for the year ended December 31 2022.
At the meeting, four members of the Board whose tenure expired at the AGM, were re-elected to the Board. They are Sir Shina Peters, Ms. Kenny Saint Brown, Engr Sharon Esco Wilson and Chief Uche Emeka Paul.
Another highlight of the AGM was the unanimous adoption of a resolution requesting President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to immediately sack Mr. John Asein, Director-General of the Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC). According to the members of COSON, President Bola Tinubu’s stated determination to boost Nigeria’s creative economy to provide jobs for the teeming masses of young Nigerians, will be a pipe dream with a man like John Asein left in the critical position that he occupies.
In his address, Chief Okoroji recounted the battles COSON has fought to continue to provide succor to musicians in Nigeria, saying “members of COSON have proved to Nigerians that the rampaging economic and political bandits, marauders, and scammers operating in our country can be fought to a stand-still and won without fear. He thanked the members, board, management and staff of COSON for their unflinching support, saying, “I remember being warned to get out of the way or I will be crushed by the power of the state. I have made it clear that I am prepared to lay down my life in the defense of the rights of the creative people of Nigeria. It is my firm belief that no great nation on earth has been built by cowards”
Concluding his address, Chief Okoroji said, “I wish to assure you that despite the continuous harassment and torture that I have been subjected to, I am happy and proud to have been given the great opportunity to build and lead the COSON family. I verily believe in the words of Martin Luther King Jr that the arc of the moral universe is long but it bends towards justice. I remain the man who drives on a full thank of faith. I promise that I will keep the boundless fire of COSON burning and promise that our popular mantra, “Let the Music Pay!” will continue to be heard everywhere”.