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Support Use of IP for Poverty Alleviation, Professional Bodies Told

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Professional bodies have been charged to support Government’s vision of lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in ten years, by promoting the use of intellectual property (IP) as a tool of wealth creation, gainful employment and sustainable growth in the creative industries.

Director-General of Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC), Mr. John O. Asein, made this call at the NCC Headquarters in Abuja yesterday during deliberations with a delegation of the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV), led by its President, ESV Sir (Chief) Emmanuel Okas Wike.

He further urged all professional bodies with mandates touching on the creative and innovative sectors to assist Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) to take full advantage of their IP rights as vehicles for taking their ideas to the market.

“In today’s knowledge-driven economy, Nigerian youths have shown abundant skills and talents which they can turn into bankable assets. This is where professional bodies like yours can help by leveraging on the IP system to nurture entrepreneurship”, he stated.

Mr. Asein called for the creation of a national creative assets registry which would help track the country’s IP assets and serve as part of a broader management system for maximizing the gains of IP for Nigeria.

According to him, “Nigeria has huge IP export potentials in all the major creative sectors, especially film, music, literary and visual art.

“We, therefore, have an obligation as professionals to advise our clients appropriately and continue to strengthen the revenue potentials of IP in the country.”

He informed the visiting delegation that an Executive Bill seeking to modernize the Nigerian Copyright Act has been transmitted to the National Assembly and urged NIESV to join in the advocacy for its speedy passage to improve the country’s copyright system for the digital environment.

Mr. Asein said the Commission would partner with the NIESV to develop standards, in line with global best practices, for the valuation of IP assets, adding that this would help their collateralization and enhance the financing of SMEs.

Both NCC and NIESV agreed to formalize their cooperation through a memorandum of understanding with joint commitment to undertake relevant trainings and studies to promote the use of IP as a tool for national development.

The chief executives also agreed to explore other areas of collaboration between the two organizations in the implementation of their respective mandates.

President of the NIESV, Sir Wike, in his remarks, stated that the Institution, established by the Estate Surveyors and Valuers Registration Board of Nigeria Act has mandate for the landed profession and valuation of assets in all its ramifications in Nigeria.

He said the NIESV was a partner in seeking the encouragement of the creative process as well as promoting investment “by ensuring that investors receive a return on their intellectual investment as well as alternative sources of revenue for the government.”

The NIESV President had requested the Commission to partner with the Institution in the areas of IP protection, professional trainings, determination of the market values of IP and joint advocacy for IP commercialization as well as valuation.

He commended the efforts of the Director-General in fighting piracy in Nigeria since his assumption of office. “I am firmly persuaded that the Commission would continue to make impactful contributions to national development”, he added.

Other delegates of the NIESV were the Second Vice-President, ESV Victor Alonge; National Secretary, ESV Shola Abeji; Executive Secretary, Dr. V. Uche; Council Member, ESV Emmanuel Alao; Chairman, Business Asset and Intellectual Property Valuation, ESV Lekan Akinwumi; and ESV Adewale Adewusi.

NCC Directors in attendance were the Director of NCC’s training arm, the Nigerian Copyright Academy (NCA), Mr. Mike Akpan; Director, Public Affairs, Mr. Vincent A. Oyefeso; and Director, Legal, Mr. Emeka Ogbonna.

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