NCC urges SMEs, varsities to embrace intellectual property systems

U.S. commits to laying solid foundation for youths, innovation

The Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) has said it will step up its campaign to help SMEs use the Intellectual Property (IP) system as a vehicle for selling their ideas to the world.

In a statement to mark World Intellectual Property Day, yesterday, the Director-General of NCC, Dr. John O. Asein, said the Commission will continue to encourage the youth population to establish innovation and creativity hubs, harness opportunities and leverage on available mentoring and peer support facilities.

The theme for this year’s World Intellectual Property Day is IP and Youth: Innovation for a Better Future. This theme draws attention to the place of the youth population as major players in the IP ecosystem and their strategic position in achieving a better future for humanity through innovation and creativity.

“Also, to promote the creation and sustainable use of IP in Nigerian universities, the Commission, in collaboration with the Association of Vice-Chancellors of Nigerian Universities (AVCNU), National Universities Commission (NUC) and the National Office of Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP), has developed a Model IP Policy for Nigerian Universities,” Asein said.

Continuing, he said: “The policy, which would later be adapted for other tertiary and research institutions, should guide institutions, students and researchers on the sustainable use of the intellectual property.

“Investing in the creative and innovative potentials of the youth creates a nexus between the latter and the larger society. It gives them a sense of belonging and renewed faith in our common future as a people. This is important for societal harmony, patriotism and the building of a youth population that is not afraid to face its future.

“To this end, school curricula should be made to include activities that focus on creativity and innovation, so that students at a very young age can discover their talents and realise their potential.”

“In the spirit of this year’s World IP Day celebration, I implore all young people to freely explore their creative and innovative world to make a difference in their generation and guarantee a better future through a responsible use of the intellectual property system.”
ALSO, the U.S. government said it is committed to promoting public awareness of the importance of protecting and enforcing Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) as a strategic resource for bolstering economic growth in Nigeria.

This was disclosed as the U.S. Mission, in collaboration with the American Business Council, hosted the second edition of its Intellectual Property Symposium.

The two-day event, led by the United States Department of Justice’s INL-funded Office of Overseas Prosecutorial Development, Assistance and Training (OPDAT)’s International Computer Hacking and Intellectual Property Attorney-Adviser (ICHIP), brought together key stakeholders in Nigeria’s IPR protection framework, including leading entertainment and creative industry leaders.   

Delivering remarks during the opening ceremony in Lagos, U.S. Ambassador, Mary Beth Leonard, noted that the protection of intellectual property rights is critical for any economy that wants to foster a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship.

Leonard noted that strong intellectual property rights protection is essential to creating jobs and opening new markets for goods and services. She encouraged stakeholders in the intellectual property space to shore up Nigeria’s IPR legal framework and lay a solid foundation for youth to drive innovation and engender a more prosperous Nigeria. 


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