Intellectual Property Rights Pivotal To Nigeria’s Economic Growth – Nnaji

Intellectual Property Rights Pivotal To Nigeria’s Economic Growth – Nnaji

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The minister of Innovation, Science and Technology, Uche Nnaji, has said Intellectual Property Rights are pivotal to the development of the Nigerian economy, fostering innovation and enriching its cultural development.

The minister said this as the world commemorated the World Intellectual Property (IP) Day on Friday April 26, the Minister of Innovation, Science and Technology, stressing that the Day set aside by the United Nations was to celebrate ingenuity, creativity and innovation to fast-track development.
This was disclosed in a statement issued on Friday by Raymond Onyenezi Ogbu, Assistant Chief Information Officer (NOTAP), which quoted the Minister as stressing the importance of the day to global economic sustainability.
The minister said “inventions and innovations are products of critical research therefore, it is pertinent to celebrate our inventors, innovators, artists as well as creators who have contributed significantly to our country’s socio-economic development.”

He added that what makes advanced countries strong was their breakthroughs in inventive and innovative activities, hence for the developing countries especially Nigeria to be recognized as a major player within the IPR ecosystem, we must build the culture of innovation.

The minister further said that to ensure a rapid development of indigenous IP system and spur the innovative spirit of the Nigerian researchers, the National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP), an agency under the supervision of his ministry, established the Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer

Offices (IPTTOs) in some knowledge establishments in the country.
He reiterated that the ministry is committed to strengthening Nigeria’s Intellectual Property System, making it easier for innovators to protect their works. He added that through NOTAP, Nigerian inventors and innovators have been assisted in patenting of their inventions free.

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Chief Nnaji noted that while Intellectual Property Rights incentivizes innovation, overly restrictive policies can stifle creativity and impede progress, therefore it is imperative to foster an environment that promotes both innovation and accessibility to information.

In the same vein, the acting director general of NOTAP, Dr. Idoreyin Imiyoho said that Intellectual Property Awareness was crucial to knowledge Transfer and harnessing Nigeria’s potential within our knowledge institutions.

She said this in her paper presentation titled “Intellectual Property Commercialization, knowledge Transfer and Food Security” at the 2024 Commemoration of the World Intellectual Property (IP) Day organised by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), Nigeria at the UN house on Friday.

The acting DG said that Intellectual Property means the property of the human intellect. She said IP can be any innovation, commercial, artistic, symbol, logo or design used for commercial purposes. According to her, it can also be the creation of the mind, literary and artistic works belonging to a creator and can only be transferred or sold with the permission of the innovator.

She said that NOTAP was established to regulate the inflow of foreign technology into the country but also has the responsibility of encouraging the development of indigenous technologies. She reiterated that as a regulatory agency, NOTAP noted the weak Intellectual Property culture in the Country and in order to build a strong IP culture for sustainable economic development, in collaboration with the World Intellectual Property Organization, midwife the establishment of Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer Offices (IPTTOs) in some select knowledge institutions across the Country.

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Dr. Imiyoho stated that the establishment of IPTTOs has triggered healthy competitions amongst the knowledge institutions to the point that critical and market-driven researches which have led to patents were undertaken.

Speaking further, she said that the World Intellectual Property Organisation is the global body for Intellectual Property Policy, Services, information and cooperation. A special agency of the United Nations, assisting its 193 member States in developing a balanced Intellectual Property legal framework to meet societal evolving needs.

She said that in 2000, the World Intellectual Property Organisation member states designated April 26th of every year as the day in which the WIPO convention came into force as World Intellectual Property Day with the aim of increasing general understanding and awareness on Intellectual Property and its importance to national development.

The acting DG assured WIPO of NOTAP’s unwavering support and commitment in ensuring that the culture of Intellectual Property is inculcated not only in Nigerian knowledge institutions but also the artisans who have over the years, demonstrated ability in fast-tracking STI development in Nigeria.

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