Don’t get involved in book piracy – Perm. Sec. warns school owners, principals

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By Ruth Oketunde

Mr Olusade Adesola, Permanent Secretary in the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has warned principals and school owners in the FCT, to desist from getting involved in pirating books.

Adesola gave the warning at the opening of the annual FCT Book Fair, organised by the FCT Education Resource Centre on Tuesday in Abuja.

He said “the hydra-headed monster called book piracy has continued to pose serious harm to Nigeria’s education system and the economy.

Adesola said that while it was important to promote a healthy reading culture among Nigerians, it was equally important to pay close attention to the protection and support for literary works.

“As you are aware, piracy short-changes the system as well as robs authors and writers of their hard-earned reward and exclusive intellectual property rights.

“I therefore, strongly advise principals and school heads not to patronise or get themselves involved in any form of book piracy.”

The permanent secretary also called on authors and writers to ensure that their intellectual properties were copy-righted, to avoid loss and being cheated.

“Government has a framework to address the issue of piracy. In the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, there is a copyright department which grants copyright and patent rights to authors.

“So I enjoin all writers to ensure that their books are copy-righted. There is also a department in the SGF’s Office that grants protection to writers.

“When your book is properly protected, then you will be able to assert your rights against piracy,” he added.

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In a speech, Mr Abdulrazaq Leramoh, Acting Secretary of the Education Secretariat of the FCTA, said that the annual book fair was the administration’s contribution to the fight against book piracy and sub-standard educational materials.

He said that in sustaining child-centred educational practices and promoting the culture of reading, the need for books and written materials could not be over-emphasised.

“Let me also stress that in spite of information technology in the form of e-books and online information, books and other written materials still retain their prime position as sources of information which all students should have.”

On her part, Hajiya Neemat Abdulrahim, Director of the FCT Education Resource Centre, said the aim of the book fair was to make learning resources, curriculum materials, among others, readily available to parents, schools and the general public.

She said that the book fair would also provide the public with relevant information about the activities of the centre and the list of recommended textbooks for use in FCT schools.

According to her, the desire of the centre is to uplift the standard of education in the FCT by enhancing the culture of reading among students and the general public

She called on principals and school heads to ensure that they followed the 2022 to 2025 recommended booklists for FCT schools, in other to keep their students abreast of current academic curriculum.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the fair which has no fewer than 40 publishing companies, displaying various educational materials, began on Sept. 4 and will end on Oct. 6. (NAN)

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Edited by AbdulFatai Beki/Silas Nwoha

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