By Chux Odoh
PMAN President, Pretty Okafor has just issued an official statement concerning the recent senate ad-hoc commitee set up to look into fraud against Nigerian entertainers by leading telecommunication companies.
According to him, they were shocked to learn how telco giants in Nigeria have over the years unlawfully diverted revenue that was meant for Nigerian creatives who are ignorant of the provisions of the law.
His statement reads below:
On December 14 2017, the Ad-hoc Committee set up by the National House of Assembly to investigate allegations of malpractices and monumental fraud within the Telecommunication Industry. This revealed that the “STATUTORY ACT” of the Nigerian law, guiding contracts and policies between the Telecoms and the Nigerian MUSIC AND CREATIVE Artists and content makers has been grossly violated and BILLIONS of DOLLARS from accrued royalties that belong to Nigerian Musicians and the Music Industry have been fraudulently diverted by the Telecommunications companies and moved to foreign banks all TAX FREE. While the owners of the content , the Musicians and Creative artists continue to languish in poverty. Take note, the EFCC, ICPC and THE CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA have all been briefed and have commenced intense investigation into these matters.
Read the rest of the statement below….
15 TRILLION LOSS YEARLY.
The Nigerian Creative industry loses close to 15 trillion Naira yearly to pirates and people like telcos who manipulate our laws for their own selfish interests, cheat our entertainers of their royalties and our government of their taxes.
IMAGINE WHAT 15% OF 15 TRILLION NAIRA WILL DO FOR NIGERIAS ECONOMIC GROWTH.
KNOWINGLY CHEATING NIGERIAN ENTERTAINERS.
The Performing Musicians Employers Association Of Nigeria (PMAN) , The Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON), ACTORS GUIDE OF NIGERIA (AGN) and the Coalition of the Creative Industry Heads (G CREATE) were present at this Historical hearing and were all SHOCKED when the distinguished Committee revealed that the statutory Act of law states that 70% of Revenue accrued from all VAS related proceeds goes to the Musicians (Content Creators ) while 30% goes to the Telecoms and the Vas Providers.
FAILURE TO REMIT TRUST FUNDS 20%
The Telecommunication Industry also have totally ignored the Nigerian Law that mandates 20% of all proceeds from VAS products to be remitted by the Telecom companies into a specific trust fund account, these monies are to be used for building necessary infrastructures for this country but the TELCOM GIANTS HAVE PROVEN TO BE ABOVE THE LAW , evidence of the monumental fraud committed by ETISALAT, GLO, MTN, AIRTEL, 9MOBILE against the Nigerian Creative Industry and the Nigerian Youths is sitting on the desks of the ADHOC COMMITTEE mandated by LAW to investigate this HEINOUS ECONOMIC CRIME committed against this great Nation .
According to the distinguished Chairman of the Committee , HON AHMED ABU in his opening speech expressed that, it is particularly disappointing that some of the CEOs of these Telecoms companies are Nigerian nationals. They evade Federal and State Tax, while deceiving the General Public by endorsing a few of the Artists with Peanuts and contracts that contradicts the Law of Nigeria. They have taken the LAW into their own hands and have displayed open DISREGARD for the Laws of this great Nation.
NO RESPECT FOR NIGERIAS LAWS.
It appears that there is a high level conspiracy between the Telcoms and the VAS providers, as the TELCOS have refused to furnish the ADHOC COMMITTEE with copies of Agreements / Contracts signed between the Telcos and the VAS Providers. It is obvious they seek to hide the undeniable Evidence of ‘ECONOMIC SABOTAGE” against NIGERA. Thats the bottom line. The Telcos have continued to “UNDERMINE” our Country’s ECONOMY over the years, IT MUST STOP NOW.
TAMPERING WITH THE NIGERIAN LAW.
MTN, GLO , AIRTEL ,ETISALAT, and 9MOBILE twisted the law of the land in their favor and deceived Poor Nigerian Musicians and content creators. Glo takes 85% of proceeds MTN takes 60% , Airtel takes 60% while Etisalat/9mobile do not have any standard agreements. The Talented Youth are forced to share the 30% or even 15% with Vas Providers appointed by the same Telecom Giants.
STEALING FROM ENTERTAINERS.
The PMAN President, PRETTY OKAFOR stated that , “The painful thing is that our Artists are dying everyday from lack of proper medical care and financial resources, while the CEOs of the TELECOMS are STEALING their money and spending it on lavish lifestyle. Its high time the NIGERIAN GOVERNMENT put them in their place and help us collect all our “ROYALTIES IN ARREARS” from these mighty and heartless TELCO GIANTS”
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