Nigeria will benefit immensely from the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) External Office newly established in Nigeria in the use of Intellectual Property (IP) as a catalyst for sustainable national economic development and enhanced growth in the Africa region.
Attracting the WIPO External Office and the ratification of four major copyright treaties in October 2017, followed by a comprehensive Draft Copyright Bill approved by the Federal Executive Council is of great advantage to Nigeria as a nation.
This Director General of Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC), Mr John O. Asein confirmed the importance of this development when he expressed gratitude to the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mallam Abubakar Malami (SAN) and his Foreign Affairs counterpart, MR. Geoffrey Onyeama, for driving the intensely competitive process that culminated in Nigeria’s emergence as one of the two countries selected for establishment of the WIPO External Offices in Africa, the second being Algeria.
This reiterates the commitment of the Nigerian government to ensuring that the presence of the WIPO External Office in Nigeria would serve to boost the use of IP as a tool for employment generation and wealth creation for the hugely talented and creative people in Nigeria as the NCC, through its DG, had assured that the body will support the WIPO External Office with needed competencies to enable it to deliver on its mandate of ensuring that Nigeria and other African countries witnessed rapid growth in the use of IP for development.
As the DG of NCC said, the development is an affirmation of Nigeria’s pre-eminent position and strategic importance in the world of IP. The presence of the WIPO External Office would enhance collaboration between Nigeria and WIPO.
The WIPO Programme Officer, Mr. Tobi Moody, also confirmed that the set up of WIPO External Office in Nigeria is tied to the potential of Nigeria’s creative industry and it would leverage on the vision and institutional support of the commission in view of the contributions of the copyright sector to the growth of IP in Nigeria.
It is noteworthy that the NCC had taken several initiatives since 2009 that resulted in the establishment of the WIPO External Office in Nigeria despite competing interests in the region.
Vincent A. Oyefeso,