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PMAN partners Zenith to launch biometrics card for musicians

PMAN partners Zenith to launch biometrics card for musicians

The Performing Musicians of Nigeria (PMAN) has partnered with Zenith Bank to roll out the first biometric card for members of the association.

Speaking at the unveiling of the card at Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos, Pretty Okafor, president, PMAN, explained that the cards, which would be issued to the first batch of registered members across the country, will serve many useful purposes, especially the financial and health wellbeing of the musicians and boosting digital literacy among members.

Explaining further at the event, which also coincided with the association’s National Executive Council meeting at the hotel, Okafor noted that with the card, PMAN will boost its database, health insurance, pension plan, royalty collection, offer a global platform and support to members, among others.

The PMAN president, who frowned at how Collective Management Organisations (CMOs) rip-off members in terms of royalty, assured that the biometrics will afford PMAN the opportunity to monitor the works of members across the global, ensure that the right royalties are collected as members are now equipped to monitors the music against the prior practice of only the CMOs, who quote figures they like as royalties due to the musicians.

On its part, Zenith Bank took the unveiling to demonstrate how the card works, the benefits and also cleared gray areas on the usage.

According to Ugochi Onyekwelu, representative of the bank, the biometric card will have the feel and looks of PMAN and can do everything a payment card can do.

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It will also serve the association in three ways; as an identity card, for basic payment solution and for capturing data of members for better planning and other needs.

“Our cards are contactless solutions and can be used for all transactions including international. It will also offer PMAN decentralized offerings as members can get the cards at any of our over 400 branches nationwide”, she said.

John Asein, director general of Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC), who was delighted to be at the event to witness the biometric card unveiling, commended PMAN, noting that the card is a huge milestone for the association, as well as, a signal that PMAN is open for better collaboration with industry stakeholders like NCC.

He explained that the biometric card will ensure the database, which has been lacking, rekindle the confidence of members in the association to care for their welfare, especially royalties and life after retirement.

Amos Falanipe, registrar of trade unions, commended PMAN for the peace and unity, which have translated in the launch of the card, while urging members to sustain the peace.

On his part, Segun Runsewe, director general, National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC), urged members to see music beyond their songs but as a strong brand for Nigeria, hence they need a united front to push Nigerian music to the world, which the biometric is offering.

In his remarks, Zaaki Azay, 2nd vice president, PMAN, described the biometric card as major progress in PMAN and that it was possible because of the synergy and unity in the association, as well as a series of court judgments that have authenticated and reaffirmed Pretty Okafor as the national leader, while prohibiting any act of factionalism within the musicians’ union.

The ceremony was witnessed by executives of the association, governors of the state chapters, music producers, entertainment media and other stakeholders of the industry.

The biometric cards, which cost N6000 for registration on PMAN’s online portal, are ready and are being rolled out in partnership with Zenith Bank.

It was earlier scheduled for launch in partnership with Heritage Bank but was installed by court judgments, which have been in favour of the Pretty Okafor-led PMAN.