Chief Tony Okoroji was asked recently by Journalist, Uzo Chikere if he was preparing to say goodbye to COSON, Chief Tony Okoroji, Chairman Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON) and Chairman, TOPS said:
No. I do not want what happened to PMAN to happen to COSON. With the instability that PMAN has endured, I have learnt that any withdrawal from COSON must be gradual and systematic. I am human and not indispensable but I understand the COSON vision, its very foundation and how the building blocks have been laid. I know the unique strengths and weaknesses of the organization.
There is no question that there are people who dream of being in the leadership of COSON not because they want to defend the interest of the members but because they think that COSON has money that they can get their hands on. They neither have the knowledge nor the training to deal with the very complex subject of collective management of copyright. They lack the liver to take on the many enemies who are determined to thwart the system. They do not possess the skills to manage the many contending interests but they are very hungry for office. In less than six months, such people will destroy this wonderful organization we have carefully built. I saw it happen at PMAN. As you well know, I gave everything to building PMAN which was a most respected organization in Nigeria. When I left as President, suddenly, all kinds of people descended on PMAN and it was torn apart. It has been so painful to watch. At some point, four people claimed to be president of PMAN at the same time!
I do not have to show up every day at COSON as I used to because the management is gradually maturing and professionalized and a lot of the systems are being automated.
For instance, very soon much of the membership issues, remote registration, monitoring of the use of works and royalty distribution at COSON will no longer be subject to human frailties. They will be handled by our newly developed computer system called the COSONET. We are also about to launch our automated licensing platform called CLAP (COSON Licensing Application Platform).
These systems will ensure 100% transparency and accountability which are absolutely necessary for the continued growth of the organization. I remain a very active chairman of COSON committed to the ideals of COSON and defending the rights of the members every day. The COSON management and members of the Board have access to me 24/7. Physical presence does not matter much anymore. More and more, I am deploying technology to work for COSON wherever I am and managing my time differently and efficiently. No… COSON will not be an orphan. Anyone preparing to celebrate Tony Okoroji’s departure from COSON as a result of the work currently going on at TOPS should return the champagne to the fridge.