Saturday, December 22, 2012


Nigerians Report in our unique tradition of honouring only those who deserve to be honoured with all the glory to God is proud to honour Chief Tony Okoroji, Chairman of Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON) as The Nigerian Person of the Year 2012 in recognition of the unprecedented achievements of Chief Tony Okoroji in fighting and winning the battles for the royalties of Nigerian artistes who have been cheated and denied their dues for decades and many of them have died without collecting any royalty. No one has ever done what Chief Okoroji is doing for the commonwealth of Nigerian artistes and the advancement of the entertainment industry in the history of Nigeria.

On Tuesday, December 11, 2012, Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON) paid out N100 million to Nigerian artistes and last Saturday COSON paid N3.06 Million to one of the pillars of Juju music in Nigeria, Rev. Ebenezer Obey the first tranche of copyright royalty.

About Chief Tony Okoroji;

Chief Tony Okoroji’s first recorded works are contained in his 1976 album, Super Sure released when he was only 18 years old. Okoroji however came to national limelight in the early eighties with his release of several cross over songs such as Juliana, Oriaku, Mama & Papa, Wishing You Well, Locomotion, Otanishi and other hit songs which became national favorites. He was simultaneously engaged as a music producer by the international recording company, EMI.

At 29 years old, Chief Okoroji was elected National President of Performing Musicians Association of Nigeria (PMAN). Despite being the youngest president in the history of the association, he went on to transform the hitherto little known body into one of the nation’s most powerful professional associations. Chief Okoroji led the team that spread the tentacles of PMAN to every nook and cranny of Nigeria and won national and international respect for Nigerian musicians.

As an activist leader, Chief Okoroji mounted an unrelenting campaign for the review of the nation’s copyright laws, organizing demonstrations across the country which forced the hands of the military government. He was eventually appointed by the Federal Government into the Committees that redrafted both the Nigerian Copyright Law and its first amendment. He also led the vanguard for the establishment of the Nigerian Copyright Commission and served twice on the Board of he Commission. Chief Okoroji is today one of Nigeria’s most respected authorities on Intellectual Property and his continues to be an unrelenting voice in the campaign for the rights of creative people.

Chief Tony Okoroji created and launched the famous Nigerian Music Awards, Africa’s first internationally respected entertainment award event which has played host to Heads of State, Ambassadors, Ministers, Governors and stars from all over the world. As a social activist, he has served in many capacities including being a member of the Lagos State Police/Community Relations Committee.

Chief Okoroji attended College of Immaculate Conception Enugu where he obtained his West African School Certificate in Division One. He holds a Degree in Business Administration from Delta State University, Abraka, where he graduated as best student. He also holds both a Diploma in Business & Industrial Law and an Advanced Diploma in Commercial Law & Practice from the University of Lagos where he set a record of graduating with a Distinction in both sets.

Tony Okoroji is a prolific writer and public speaker. He has written extensively on copyright, attended many courses around the world on copyright and collective management and presented over one hundred papers on copyright and the entertainment industry. His book, Copyright & the New Millionaires (the twists and turns in Nigeria) published in 2009 has received great acclaim locally and internationally.

Chief Tony Okoroji who has dedicated a life time to the development of popular music in Nigeria is a winner of many awards including the Pan African Arts and Music Award. He is CEO of TOPS LTD, a Lagos based entertainment and events consultancy firm.

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