FEC okays copyright, maritime piracy bills

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The Federal Executive Council on Thursday approved the Copyright Bill and the Suppression of Piracy and Maritime Offences Bill.

The approval was given at a meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The Attorney General of the Federation, Mr. Abubakar Malami (SAN), disclosed this to State House correspondents at the end of the meeting.

With the approval, Malami said the council had directed him to forward the bills to the National Assembly for consideration and passage.

The minister explained that the Copyright Bill  related to the creative industry.

He said it was meant to ensure the protection of creative works against piracy and protection of intellectual property rights.

“The bill was approved by the council and the Attorney General had been accordingly instructed to send it to the National Assembly for passage into law and eventual assent by the President if passed,” he said.

Malami added that the intention of the memo relating to the suppression of piracy and maritime offences was to accord protection to the maritime industry against piracy.

He said a comprehensive policy position was incorporated into the bill which was intended to ensure that the international conventions that had been ratified by Nigeria overtime in relation to maritime industry were accommodated.

“The same bill as processed by the Office of the Attorney General has been approved by the council and the Attorney General has accordingly been instructed to send the bill to the National Assembly for passage and eventual assent by the President if passed by the National Assembly,” he said.

The Minister of State for Environment, Ibrahim Jibrin, said the council approved  the revision of the National Biceptive Management Agency.

He said, “The National Biceptive Management Agency is an agency under the Ministry of Environment charged with the responsibility of monitoring and supervising the use of genetically-modified organisms in the country.

“Most of the time, people tend to mix this agency up with another sister agency in the Ministry of Science and Technology. The one under technology ministry is charged with the responsibility of carrying out research and coming up with breakthroughs.

“The one under the ministry is a regulatory agency charged with the responsibility of checking products with genetically-modified organisms which will come into the country to ensure that they are safe for consumption.

“This policy, the first that we had was in 2006, had been around before the establishment of the agency… The ministry is to review it as technology is advancing. The policy is meant to put in place regulations and ensure that our people are safe.

“The second one taken yesterday (Wednesday) was about hydrocarbon remediation project in Rivers State where approval was given for the engagement of consultants to supervise, monitor and evaluate a proper framework that is put in place to assist in supervising and actualising the clean up.”

The Minister of Agriculture, Audu Ogbeh, added that the council approved a memo relating to the Veterinary Council of Nigeria, which has been in existence since 1953.

“The regulations had been submitted to the council and the council approved them for the President to endorse so that those regulations can be put into practice for the protection of livestock,” he said.

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