The house of representatives on Wednesday assured the family of the late singer Mohbad of its commitment to secure proper compensation and royalties from his musical works.
Olumide Osoba, chairman of the house committee on justice, gave the assurance during an interactive session on the rights and royalties related to Mohbad’s music.
This was due to the controversial circumstances surrounding his death.
In an interactive session with the Nigerian Copyrights Commission (NCC) and Musical Copyright Society Nigeria (MCSN), Osoba reiterated the significance of securing compensation and royalties, adding that the payments are essential sources of income for musicians.
He said royalties will enable artistes to sustain their careers, create new music, and build a future within the industry.
He, however, lamented that the current system often falls short in adequately protecting and providing for young musicians concerning their royalty rights.
The lawmaker said many up-and-coming artistes face challenges in terms of royalty agreement negotiations, especially when dealing with major record labels that can impose unfavourable terms, subjecting artistes to only a fraction of what they deserve.
“It is crucial to recognise that young musicians are often not well-informed about their rights when entering into contracts,” he said.
He said society must ensure that young musicians are aware of their rights including access to legal support that safeguards their interests through organisations, unions, or educational programmes.
Osoba also said it is important to implement stronger regulations and support systems within the industry.
He said even with the digital streaming platforms “young musicians often struggle to earn a substantial income due to outdated royalty structures”.
The lawmaker added that the committee has until next week to provide a report of its findings.
Last week, the lawmakers adopted a motion by Babajimi Benson, a representative of the Ikorodu federal constituency, calling for transparency in the investigation of Mohbad’s death.
Benson said Mohbad’s case was not an isolated one, and that many young artistes in Nigeria find themselves ensnared in unfavorable contractual agreements with record labels.
Mohbad’s management earlier said that it would “fight to retrieve his catalogue and unpaid royalties” wrongfully held by Marlian Music.
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