Emeruwa elected chairman of audio-visual CMO

Notable filmmaker and former president of Directors Guild of Nigeria (DGN), Mr. Bond Emeruwa has emerged the new chairman of Audio-Visual Rights Society of Nigeria (AVRS) after a Coalition of Nollywood’s Guilds and Associations’ election. The long-standing filmmaker was elected chairman during a keenly contested election held as part of the maiden Annual General Meeting (AGM) of AVRS which held in Lagos last Tuesday.

Emeruwa polled nine out of the 15 votes cast by elected directors of the board of AVRS to defeat the interim chairman of the society, Mr. Mahmoud Ali-Balogun. The interim chairman Ali-Balogun had led the board since inception in 2014. Ali-Balogun was, however, returned as a director of the society.

Over 264 registered members of the society and other stakeholders attended the AGM and witnessed the process that led to the emergence of 15 directors for the society. The new directors are Jide Kosoko, Lilian Amah-Aluko, Fidelis Duker, Ahmed Sarari, Emmanuel Isikaku, Sanni Muazu, Bond Emeruwa, Paul Okoli, Chico Ejiro, Mahmood Ali-Balogun, Olurotimi Aina-Kushoro, Okechukwu Ogunjiofor, Anthony Anih, Norbert Ajaegbu and Peddie Okao.

Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) had approved AVRS to function as the sole CMO for cinematograph films in Nigeria’ in November 2015. The NCC had announced in October 2014 that it had licensed AVRS to be what the existing CMOs – Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON) and Reproductive Rights Society of Nigeria (REPRONIG) that were licensed a few years ago were to musical works, sound recordings, and literary works respectively.

Following the approval from government, AVRS embarked on a series of meetings across the country with a view to enlightening stakeholders in the film industry on the purpose, nature and operations of the new CMO. The society has also initiated high-level discussions with relevant bodies and international organizations. The next stage for AVRS. especially with a new leadership in place, is the commencement of actual licensing for use of audio visual works and Emeruwa assured in a post-election interview that he would lead a board that ‘has already hit the ground running”.

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