Nigerian Cabinet approves bills on Copy right protection, Bio-Safety

The Nigeria government is to transmit a bill on the protection of copy right to the National Assembly for passage into law.

Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, revealed this to Journalists at the end of Thursday’s meeting of the federal cabinet presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The Justice Minister said the bill approved by the Federal Executive Council seeks to protect intellectual property, when eventually passed into law and assented to by the President of the country.

The Justice Minister said Council’s approval followed the presentation of a memo to that effect by his ministry.

Two memos were presented to the council this afternoon from the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation and the first one relates to Copyright Bill which is intended to be transmitted from the executive to the National Assembly. It is a bill that relates to the creative industry. It is 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 the bill to the National Assembly for passage into law and eventual assent by the president if passed, the Minister explained.

Malami said another memo on the prevention of piracy on the high sea as well as boost maritime activities in the country.

The second memo that was presented from the Federal Ministry of Justice was a memo relating to the suppression of piracy and maritime offences. The intention is to accord protection to the maritime industry against piracy and indeed come up with a comprehensive policy position incorporated into the bill which is intended to ensure that at the end of the day, the international convention that has been ratified by Nigeria overtime in relation to maritime industry is incorporated into the bill with a view to bringing it in line with international best practices and indeed ensure the protection of maritime boundary.

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 Federal Executive Council also approved a policy document on National Bio-safety.

Minister of State-Environment, Mr Ibrahim Jibrin, disclosed this while briefing State House Correspondents at the end of the Cabinet meeting.

He said the aim is to ensure the safety of genetically modified organisms in all parts of the country.

The federal Ministry of Environment presented two memos to council. One was taken yesterday and one was taken today. The one taken today was a policy memo seeking council approval for the revision of the National Bio-safety Management Agency. The National Bio-safety 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 Federal Ministry of Science and Technology. The one under the Science and Technology Ministry is charged with the responsibility of carrying out research and coming up with breakthroughs. The one under the Environment 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.

Our second memo taken yesterday, was about the hydrocarbon remediation project in Rivers State where approval was given for 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, he stated.

Veterinary Practice

Also speaking, the Minister of Agriculture, Mr Audu Ogbe, said the Council also took steps to further regulate veterinary practice in the country.

This afternoon, we presented a memorandum to the council relating to Veterinary Council of Nigeria which has been in existence since 1953 and under the provisions of the law setting it up, the council members are to constantly improve on regulations of veterinary practice so that people who are not qualified as veterinary doctors do not operate in the country. 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, Ogbe said.

The meeting, which started on Wednesday, was extended to Thursday, to address the long list of items on the agenda, which bothered on enhancing the livelihood of Nigerians.

Source: Voice of Nigeria