Page last updated at 15:46 GMT, Tuesday, 1 September 2009 16:46 UK

'No-music day' on Nigeria radio

Fatai Rolling Dollar and band
Musicians say their livelihoods are being threatened

Radio stations in Lagos have largely observed a call by Nigerian artists for a "No-Music Day" to protest at piracy and the non-payment of royalties.

The BBC's Fidelis Mbah in the city says some stations have instead played foreign music.

A musicians' spokesman said that many stations and nightclubs see obtaining music licences as an "alien idea".

Last week, a group of Lagos musicians organised an ongoing hunger strike to protest at rampant piracy.

Our correspondent says pirated CDs of popular albums are readily available on the city's streets, 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 spokesman Efe Omorogbe said the failure to pay royalties was equivalent to making and distributing pirated CDs.

We're not relying on the album [sales], we're only relying on shows
Musician Xtreme

"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.

The musicians' indefinite hunger strike will be followed by a protest to the National Assembly, our correspondent says.

Lagos musician Funsho Olatunbosun, 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.

Are you taking part in Nigeria's "No-Music Day"? Do you buy pirated CDs? Let us know what you think about it, by using the postform below to send us your comments.

Thanks for your comments. Here's a selection of what we received:

Poverty makes Nigerians buy pirated CDs cos that's what they can afford. Get Nigeria better - alleviate poverty - then we can afford original CDS. Mind you, they need to bear in mind, once people cannot buy these CDs, nobody will buy the expensive ones and their album wont sell at all. Let them think of coming to some sort of agreement with these people selling on the street, so both parties can gain something from the deal. Hunger strike is not the way forward, if they continue like this, by next year they'll be so skinny, they wont be able to sing, cos that aint gonna solve their problem.
Ayo, UK

Its obvious that everything is pirated in Nigeria. Government are to be blamed but we the citizens must be ready to pull BRAKE ON FAKE. God bless Nigeria.
Mohammed O. Taofiq, Pretoria, South Africa

The main reasons why piracy flourishes is as a result of non enforcement of anti piracy laws in the country and inadequate distributions of the original works of these musicians, writers etc. No-one is interested in buying pirated copies but when you get to market, you will not see original copies. The artiste's associations should have registered shops in all states of federation where we can buy the authentic copies.
Odeyemi Ayotunde, Abeokuta, Ogun state, Nigeria

We graduates wey no get job de yàfùn-yàfùn. Every person for Naija de find how to chop, as work no de for we country. Everly-everly, piracy cannot fit to be put to stop, but if we gov't make work brèkétè, the piracy go reduce.
Winge, Owerri, Naija

98% of all Nigerian songs in this country are pirated CDs. The scourge has sunk the Sierra Leone music industry.
Murtala, Freetown, Sierra Leone

Why are they complaining, lets check the homes of all this artists complaining, you will see that they own pirated cds and books etc. Now check there computers, check the studios they use, you wont see any original software, and they are complaining. The cost of there work is cheap, what they sing is cheap, what is the cost of an album project, I'm in the industry and I'm also bringing artist out, but lets face fact, is there a proper way of bringing out this cds, where are the original cds sold, there is a void somewhere in the industry and it should be filled sooner than later, let the movies not even go there, they use foreign music as there soundtracks and they don't even take permission or pay royalties. So you see its a round robin thing.
Obum Okechukwu, Abuja

I felt for Nigerian artists, 95% of albums sold in d streets are pirated, govt are not helping issues they always claim to fight corruption but reverse was d case they like corruption d way fish likes water, everything in Nigeria is pirated even d air we breath, nigeria is one of d richest in oil they've kept on importing oil, what a shame of a country.
Arinze Umeweni, Abuja, Nigeria

Oh please! No power supply, the pipes are dry, schools are on strike, people are getting kidnapped. We've got bigger issues to worry about.
Kunle Oduwobi, Ogun State, Nigeria

It's definitely a perfect idea. Bravo Lagos artists. In Uganda, many artists have gone into oblivion because of that. I am one of them.
Jane Apio, Lira, Uganda

I think the idea here is correct but the implementation remain the issue, no amount of law our national assemble will ever produce without enforcement from the heart of our law enforcement agencies that will ever produce positive change, this change will come from you and me who will join hand together to fight the good fight, all Nigerian artist should come together as a team, identify that one enemy, join hand the pull the trigger and have the enemy kingdom pulled down, this goal is achievable.
Ras Jeluna, PH, Nigeria

It is not only music that is pirated in Nigeria. Books are also pirated, even household goods, toiletries, soaps, etc are pirated - virtually everything in Nigeria is pirated. Do we all go on hunger strike? Though I sympathise with the musicians, but some of them are just happy to hear their music played on radio, thus giving them free publicity. They should learn to live with what Nigeria has turned out to be - THE JUNGLE - where the rule is survival of the fittest. The government is on indefinite leave.
Segiru Sule, Ibadan

A labourer deserves his wages. Why are people reaping where they did not sow? So stand firm and fight for your right.
Victor-Davis Eche, Awka

For decades, imported music has been bootlegged in the country with no protest from the industry .Now the chicken has finally come home to roost. Suck it up guys with your sorry music.
Charlie Igbonoba, Dallas, Tx USA

Corruption in Nigeria from presidency to common Nigerian so piracy continues...
Declan Egbusuo, Nkume Njaba Biafra

Hey, leave the musician they too are pirating foreign albums and is vice-versa, let them shout, piracy continues...James Badboy, Lagos, Nigeria

Yes, the musicians are really suffering as a result of our unregulated check economy. The govt. need to come in to salvage the music industry in one hand and the artist on the other hand.
Mr Esabu Monday, Agadaga Ewohimi, Edo State, Nigeria

its really disastrous because i was in Abuja early this year when the Nigerian major musicians attends comedy events, just to earn a living, while their Cds is everywhere in the market.
Jonas E. ThankGod, Madrid

What is this nonsense about no music day? Why can't the country not get serious in eradicating poverty. Despite the oil from the delta region, the cocoa from the west and midwestern region, the palm oil from the eastern region the groundnuts and the cattle from the northern region, the rubber from the midwestern and southeastern regions of the country plus precious solid minerals in all parts of the country there are no basic amenities for all the population. Even in the commercial city of Lagos 95% of the city do not have pipe borne water flowing through the taps to drink and even flush the toilets. What a shame. A big shame indeed. I learnt that the governor of Lagos state is beautifying the city, when there is no electricity in constant supply and pipe borne water. Get serious Nigeria. The country is being laughed at from serious nations around the world after so many years of self rule. Stop this no music day and get the country off poverty. Mind you observers don't go to the GRA, Victoria Island or Ikoyi. They go to areas that have been neglected.
Dr. Eng. William. Gillbeak, London Unitied Kingdom

I support you with all my life. we have been robbed for too long.
Oyet, Ukatejit, Calabar, Nigeria

This's just a nonsense. How's the music industry beneficial to the Nigerian Federation? After all the parliament and the executives have already failed to provide the dividend of the so-called democracy to their people, so what next do they expect from them?
Tijjani Bukar, Damaturu, Nigeria

It sad that our musicians are not getting compensated for their talents due to nefarious activities of some unscrupulous individuals. Piracy is an up hill battle for the music and movie industries in Nigeria. Due to the current economic downturn in the country, a lot of people find the pirated CDs cheaper than the original ones. For as long as people are buying pirated CDs, the industry will remain vibrant and lucrative. It is had time the national assembly join our artistes in the fight against pirated CDs and payment of royalties to the musicians. There is no doubt that the livelihood of our artistes is in jeopardy. My fellow Nigerians should boycott pirated CDs and help are artistes to grow.
Omorodion Osula, Boston, USA

I support Nigeria musicians. This idea it will help them 2 develop the activities of music in Nigeria.
Yakubu Peter, Kano, Nigeria

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