Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) is raiding the premises of software resellers in Lagos in an effort to fight against pirated software. Microsoft assisted to coordinate this project and high quality counterfeits like Windows and Office were seized.
The challenge is that piracy is killing businesses and not just for the MNCs but local software makers. If Nigeria does not solve this problem, it must not expect to make much progress in developing high quality local software. Intellectual property rights remain a key part in structuring modern civilization.
Mr Afam Ezekude, Director General of NCC , captured it when he said: “We must put a stop to the software pirates that trick innocent consumers and small businesses into parting with their hard-earned cash for illegal and, sometimes dangerous, goods. Starting a new business on counterfeit software is like building a house on quick sand.”
It is time for Nigeria to clean Lagos and get these bad guys out of business. With more than 80% in software piracy, incentives for innovation will surely not be there for some smart kids with visions to build a strong local software industry. NCC, please get this done very quickly and put Lagos in order.