NO-MUSIC-DAY OBSERVED IN NIGERIA


Nigerian broadcasters have been asked to observe what has been dubbed “No-Music Day” on their stations.

The call comes from the Nigerian Music Industry Coalition, which is concerned about the non-payment of royalties.

Its spokesman told the BBC that many stations and nightclubs see obtaining music licences as an “alien idea”.

Last week, the group organised an ongoing hunger strike by musicians – mainly in Lagos – angered at losing money to piracy.

In many Nigerian towns pirated CDs of popular albums are readily available at a fraction of the official price.

Despite the occasional raid on the pirates’ production outfits, security agents have failed to tame their activities, he says.

It is the first time Nigerian musicians have united to highlight their plight.

Nigerian Music Industry Coalition’s Efe Omorogbe said the failure to pay royalties was equivalent to making and distributing pirated CDs.

“There are probably more radio stations in Lagos than in two other African countries put together. Lagos stations do not pay royalties,” he told the BBC’s Network Africa programme.

He said Nigeria had two royalty collection associations.

Radio stations often say they do not know which one collects for which catalogue.

“The system has failed to structure itself in such a way that people are compelled to pay,” he said.

Our reporter says that so far radio stations in Lagos have complied with the musicians’ request and are not playing music.

The musicians’ indefinite hunger strike will be followed by a protest to the National Assembly, he says.

One Lagos musician, who goes by the stage name Xtreme, says piracy has really affected his income.

“All the artists are feeling the pain… we’re not relying on the album [sales], we’re only relying on shows,” he said.

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