Oghenevwede Ohwovoriole in Abuja
The federal government has promised to engage intellectual property owners in the country’s organised private sector in order to help commercialise their research results and inventions.
The Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, made the promise when he received the board of IP First Group, made up of outstanding key players in the various fields of intellectual property in Nigeria, which paid him a courtesy call in his office in Abuja.
A statement made available to journalists and signed by the Director of Press and Public Relations, Mr. Abdulganiyu Aminu, quoted Onu as urging researchers, innovators and scientists to ensure that they patent and protect their research outputs because investors prefer research results that are patented.
According to Onu, intellectual property is the best criterion to measure the creativity and inventiveness of a nation, adding that Nigerians must be encouraged to protect their intellectual properties by getting them patented.
He said: “For Nigeria to create wealth, jobs and sufficiently defeat poverty, the country needs to vigorously pursue a knowledge-based and innovation-driven economy.
“Since the inception of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration, Nigeria has made meaningful progress in achieving a knowledge-based and innovation-driven economy by encouraging patent of research innovations.”
Onu added: “The progress made in the issuance of patents has been remarkable. In 2016, the number of patents in Nigeria rose from five to 16, and by the end of 2017, it rose to 50 and still counting.”
He commended the IP First Group on its efforts in the formulation of a National Intellectual Property Policy and Strategy for Nigeria and the establishment of an Industrial Property (IP) Commission.
Earlier, the Chairman of IP First Group, Dr. Umar Bindir, said: “The major aim of the group was to ensure that Nigeria has a strong intellectual property policy, that will protect and patent research innovations indigenously developed in the country.”
He lamented that lack of policy and Industrial Property Commission has significantly weakened Nigerian intellectual property system and constitutes a drain in Nigeria’s foreign exchange earnings.
Bindir said his group is resolved to ensure that all elements of intellectual property are well documented and coordinated nationwide.
He added that intellectual property protection is a catalyst for national development and industrialisation.