The recent petition by the Performing Musicians Employers Association of Nigeria (PMAN) accusing the Minister of plagiarizing its proposal that was presented to him under the name ‘Bar Coding Technology for the Creative Industry in Nigeria’ has been condemned by Think Tank Media and Advertising Ltd.
The outfit which is claiming ownership of the right in the literal works conceptualized and expressed through the Creative Nigeria Financing Conference, in a statement signed by its Managing Director, Taiwo Olukunle, claimed that neither the Minister, Mr. Lai Mohammed nor the Ministry of Information and Culture had anything to do with the conceptualization and development of the Creative Industry Financing Conference.
Think Tank Media in the statement also said that the allegation against the person of the Minister of Information and Culture, Mr. Lai Mohammed with regard to the Creative Industry Financing Conference is spurious, highly misplaced and borders on a sinister plan to intentionally malign his person and put his good works into disrepute.
Read the full text of its statement below;
“Our attention has been drawn to the letter of Messrs. I.C. Ejiofor & Co, written at the instruction of the Performing Musicians Employers Association of Nigeria (PMAN) to the Hon. Minister of Information and Culture; with regard the recently concluded Creative Industry Financing Conference organized by our organization.
“The summation of the letter, which was given the widest publication various blogs and other electronic media is as follows;
1. That the Creative Industry Financing Conference was a brainchild of PMAN;
2. That the Hon. Minister of Information and Culture, Mr. Lai Mohammed plagiarized the concept of the Conference from an idea and/or proposal submitted to him by PMAN and consequently infringed its intellectual property in the said idea.
“It is not our practice to respond to every unguarded publication in the news media. However the dimensions of this publication in question and it calculated attempt to unjustifiably malign the person of the Hon. Minister of Information and Culture, Mr. Lai Mohammed, makes it expedient that a response be made to put things in proper perspective in the public domain where we have been unwittingly and inadvertently drawn to; and for the court of public opinion to decipher and make an informed decision on this matter that has been brought to its domain.
“In response to the allegations levelled against the Minister with regard the Creative Industry Financing Conference and for the purposes of clarifying what we note is an attempt to discredit his person, please take note of the following summation:
1. The Creative Industry Financing Conference is a project, which was solely conceptualized and fully developed by Think Tank Media and Advertising Ltd. This concept, which is original, was borne out of our innate desire to find a solution to the problem of financing that has over the year hampered the development of the Nigeria Creative Industry.
2. Think Tank approached and indeed secured the participation of the Ministry of Information and Culture to this conference. Being the custodian and the Ministry that regulates the Creative Industry in Nigeria, we were accorded with full support of the Ministry towards the successful hosting of the Conference.
3. Neither the Minister, Mr. Lai Mohammed nor the Ministry of Information and Culture has anything to do with the conceptualization and development of the Creative Industry Financing Conference. Their participation was limited to the
“We wish to put on record, that the allegation against the person of the Minister of Information and Culture, Mr. Lai Mohammed with regard the Creative Industry Financing Conference is spurious, highly misplaced and borders on a sinister plan to intentionally malign his person and put his good works into disrepute. The Conference is the product of our creative effort and not that of the Minister or the Ministry.
“We believe that if PMAN has taken steps to conduct a due diligence on the Creative Industry Financing Conference, it would have discovered that the target and philosophy behind the Conference is essentially different in form and substance to its allegedly proposed idea of “Implementation of Bar Coding Technology for the Creative Industry in Nigeria” For ease of reference, the Creative Industry Financing Conference was not aimed at generating revenue for the government as was projected by the idea expressed alleged proposal of PMAN, which targeted making 10.3 Trillion Naira for the government from the creative industry in Nigeria. The Conference principally aimed at identifying, addressing and proffering solutions to the financing needs of businesses in the creative industry as against the revenue generating adventure of PMAN’s proposed idea.
“The claim that the Creative Nigeria Financing Conference is the brainchild of your client is unfounded and derisory at the least. The Conference did not only speak to the Nigerian music industry but also addressed the film and television practitioners with the aim of creating a viable relationship with the finance industry. This objective, goes beyond the purview of PMAN, a not for profit labour union for musicians.
“The public has obviously been misinformed by this deliberate twist and falsehood precipitated by the letter written on behalf of PMAN. We advise that the organization seeks the path of honour and set the record straight.
“In conclusion, Think Tank Media and Advertising Ltd reiterates that the ownership of the right in the literal works conceptualized and expressed through the Creative Nigeria Financing Conference and we intend to continue exercising the right to its fullest benefit.
However, should PMAN wishes to carry out its threat of instituting a legal proceeding with regard the alleged infringement of its right, we advise that all hostilities be directed at us and not the person of the Minister and his Ministry.
“We are willing and ready to defend our right when called upon to do so,” the statement read in full.
In the five-page petition written by Ifeanyi Ejiofor, Counsel to PMAN dated July 20, 2017, the Minister was asked to “desist forthwith from proceeding further with the implementation of action plans or any item agreed upon at the recently staged two-day conference on Creative Industry in Lagos.
Reports say that on August 5, 2016 the PMAN President, Pretty Okafor paid a visit to the minister where he handed the proposal which detailed plans on how to boost the creative industry during a presentation meeting.
According to PMAN, the proposal contained ideas on how to improve the creative industry and generate over N15 trillion in revenue for the government, and its recommendations in the proposal was what the government went ahead to implement under the guise of the ‘Creative Industry Financing Conference’.
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