The United Nations’ World Intellectual Property Organization, in conjunction with the federal government, has drawn up plans to strengthen the country’s intellectual property policy.
This was revealed at a three-day National Multi-Stakeholders Workshop for the Validation of the Draft National Intellectual Property Policy and Strategy of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, held at the United Nations House, Abuja.
The Solicitor General and Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Justice, Ms. Beatrice Jedy-Agba, who represents the Minister of Justice and the Attorney General of the Federation, Mr. Abubakar Malami, SAN, noted that the Federal Government is working to ensure that the country’s intellectual property law and governance are in line with current reality.
“I assure you that we are committed to modernizing the entire IP system in Nigeria. Think of the Trademark Act, the Patent and Design Act. There is also legislative work that we will be looking at to make sure it complies with the new copyright law.
“We hope this will also serve as a catalyst for necessary reforms in all aspects of IP law and administration and then bring them in line with the current realities in this digital age.” said Jedy Agba.
Miss Loretta Asiedu, representative of the Director General, WIPO, Daren Tang, also noted that with a population of over 218 million, with a median age of 18.1, Nigeria’s enormous creative and innovative potential that exists even among the youth demographics, cannot be emphasized enough.
She expressed the need to harness the creative potential of this type of human capital by adopting policies that promote innovation and creativity through the intellectual property system.
“It is therefore important to develop a framework to unlock innovative potential by facilitating the use of the IP system for economic empowerment by all groups and levels of stakeholders, including hitherto disadvantaged segments of the population, including women. , youth, small and medium-sized enterprises and indigenous communities. Given the developments on the continent, such as the establishment of the African Continental Free Trade Area, with its potential impact on intellectual property rights, it is now time for this framework.
“For us at WIPO, it is very encouraging to see that stakeholders in Africa attach great importance to intellectual property issues, shifting the paradigm away from mere awareness raising on the subject, to helping member states develop legislative and institutional frameworks for its promotion. of and protection of intellectual property rights, by building the capacity of Member States’ IP offices to process applications, by helping Member States to develop, through a thoroughly engaging consultation process, national IP policies and strategies that demystify intellectual property and make it far from protected in the rich developed countries.” She said.