Nigerian lawmakers pledge to secure Mohbad’s compensation, royalties


Late Mohbad

By Femi Ogunshola

The House of Representatives on Wednesday assured the family of late Ilerioluwa Aloba, popularly known as Mohbad, of its commitment to secure proper compensation and royalties from his musical works.

Reps Olumide Osoba, Chairman of the House Committee on Justice, said this when the Copy Rights Commission appeared before it and the Musical Copyright Society of Nigeria in Abuja.

The appearance was an interactive session on the rights and royalties related to Mohbad’s music.

This is sequel to a motion of urgent public importance earlier moved by Rep. Babajimi Benson (APC-Lagos) to secure the royalties of Mohbad’s songs and lyrics.

Osoba emphasised the significance of securing compensation and royalties, acknowledging that these payments were essential sources of income for musicians.

He said such would enable artists to sustain their careers, create new music, and build a future within the industry.

He however, said that the current system often fall short in adequately protecting and providing for young musicians concerning their royalty rights.

He said many emerging artists face challenges when negotiating fair royalty agreements, particularly when dealing with major record labels.

He stated that this often wield significant power and could impose unfavorable terms, resulting in artists receiving only a fraction of the royalties they deserved.

“It is crucial to recognise that young musicians are often not well-informed about their rights when entering into contracts,” Osoba averred.

He said such knowledge gap placed them at a disadvantage, as they might not fully grasp the complex legal intricacies surrounding royalty rights.

He said the responsibility rests on society to bridge the knowledge gap and ensure that young musicians were aware of their rights while having access to legal support that safeguards their interests.

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According to him, to address these issues, it is vital to work towards implementing stronger regulations and support systems within the industry.

This includes advocating for more transparent and standardized contracts for all artists, irrespective of their age or experience, to level the playing field and prevent the exploitation of young talent.

He further stated that efforts should be made to provide accessible legal advice and assistance to young musicians through organizations, unions, or educational programs.

He also said that equipping them with the knowledge and resources needed to understand and negotiate contracts will empower them to protect their rights and secure fair compensation for their creative contributions.

“Additionally, there is a need to adapt the music industry to the digital age. While digital streaming platforms have revolutionized music consumption and distribution, young musicians often struggle to earn a substantial income due to outdated royalty structures.

“Advocating for revised royalty models that accurately reflect the value of music in the streaming era is essential.

He said, the committee is committed to this responsibility, adding that they have requested relevant information regarding the circumstances of his death and the measures in place to secure his royalties and other benefits,.

This he said is with a deadline of next week to expedite their action on this assignment.

He said the committee also welcomes any other information or challenges hindering the implementation of the rights and royalties of musicians.

He assured that the committee would ensure that the rights of young musicians regarding royalties is of paramount importance.

He said collective efforts should be made to guarantee that they receive fair compensation for their hard work and artistic contributions.

This according to him is by promoting transparency, education, and change within the industry, a future can be created where young musicians have a fair chance to thrive and build sustainable careers.

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