Protect Owners Of Intellectual Property, Group Urges Nigerian Government

As the world marks the World Intellectual Property Day today, the Friends of the Creators Foundation has urged the Nigerian Government to enact laws and policies to protect intellectual property rights of creators to spark off a knowledge-based industrial revolution in the country.

FCF in a statement by Chairman of its Board of Trustees, Dr Ogaga Ifowodo, said with the ravaging effects of Coronavirus, the world will be facing tougher times, which will mostly affect countries that depend on a single source of generating revenue. 

The statement also added that only a balanced and robust IPR system can give the needed support necessary for the emergence of a green economy, which is desperately needed in Nigeria.

It said, “Even before the Coronavirus pandemic made its catastrophic advent in Wuhan, China, the world had been given fiery warning with the devastating wild fires that swept through the Amazon, the world’s largest rainforest and bio-diversity region, Australia, Indonesia and (annually) California in the United States. 

“In short, 2019 was the year the earth was on fire. The Coronavirus pandemic, leading to the near-total lockdown of the world economy, gives final warning to humans to be better custodians of the earth or face extinction. 

“The 2020 WIPD call for innovation as a knowledge-driven solution to the lethal consequences of our unrestrained abuse of the environment couldn’t have come at a better time. 

“FCF calls on the Nigerian Government, first and foremost, and the private sector, including our universities and research institutions to join the global technology revolution or risk leaving our country behind in the fossilised past. 

“Even before oil prices plummeted due to very low demand in the face of the global lockdown, the world was already gearing for the shift to a green, clean and sustainable future. Nigeria cannot, now or post-Coronavirus afford to depend on oil as the mainstay of the economy. And if Nigeria is to make that crucial shift, the indispensable role of IPR must also be given policy priority.

“As made clear by WIPO, only a “balanced and robust” IPR system can give the support necessary to the emergence of a green economy that works in tandem with the earth’s natural sustenance systems. 

“We call on the Nigerian Government working with the National Assembly to formulate policies and enact laws that would stimulate creativity and innovation while also guaranteeing the robust protection and enforcement of copyright, patent, trade mark, design rights, geographical indication or appellation of origin rights, and even plant-breeding rights.”

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