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We cannot continue to destroy tourism products and expect tourism to grow.

By Fredrick Femi Robinson
 Published December 28th, 2008

I read in one of our newspapers that a certain office owned by some Chinese nationals was raided by the Piracy and Copyrights commission and I wondered what that would do to discourage intellectual piracy and cheating of creative materials in this country. Until we realize the our TV and Radio stations are the greatest cheats and pirates of intellectual and creative materials in Nigeria we will only be paying lip service to controlling piracy. Who is the primary consumer of creative, intellectual and entertainment materials in Nigeria? It is obviously the TV and Radio industry. How much have they invested in production of the creative materials for television and radio since independence? Nothing, they started by foraging and pirating of productions by foreign stations like B.B.C , British Council, French Cultural and German Institute. Those were the first ever known documentaries in those days. Since then we have been copying and plagiarizing creative works of local and foreign artists.

I am not surprised that Nigerian Television and Radio stations have no local standard for creativity. This is because after independence TV and Radio Stations in Nigeria depended on foreign programs and program contents to survive. Any program that did not have a foreign taste was not easily accepted for production or transmission unless there was a company or an organization willing to spend money to have the program transmitted. The Village Headmaster series which the Nigerian Television Authority prides itself of could no longer be produced because management could not fund it. Is it an irony that NTA has not been able to secure a sponsor all these years for a program the nation claims was the best local series? If a Nigerian producer or artist wanted to be accepted he or she had to copy or plagiarize. Some time he has to mortgage his creativity to attract sponsorship. Listen to the music of many Nigerian Musical artists today; they are completely devoid of the African rhythm. All that is African are some commercial lyrics added to ensure they can sell their music to so some major ethnic groups in Nigeria. Watch the so called Nigerian movies; the stories are sometimes. How do we expect our entertainment and tourism industry to attract foreign dollars when Television, Radio and Cultural Institutions in the country seized to invest in the performing arts since Independence?

How do we expect our tourism to develop when it is obvious TV and Radio Stations are not interested in well researched products. How do we expect the Industry to develop when Television and Radio Stations have succeeded in convincing performing artists that they are doing them a favour playing their music or showing their videos on air? I begin to wonder when performing artist in Nigeria will realize that they can like it in America force TV and Radio stations to spend money on production by refusing to allow their works to be used for at least one month. This will expose them for what they are. Letís all starve for some months if it will bring some sanity to the industry. To date all some radio and Television Stations spend money only on is gathering news. This dependence on news items to cover up airtime is heating up the polity. Not everybody is interested in politics. People are interested in how to put food on their table. Documentaries on why people can make millions as a farmer not how you can drink as many bottle of alcohol to win a jack pot prize. Our TV and Radio Stations have brainwashed Nigerians to believe that all they need is find out how some people are sharing money in Abuja. It is time we spend some time investigating organizations and Institutions who may by their operations be sabotaging efforts of government. Some thing has to be do

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