The National Copyright Commission has appointed the 15 winners of the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) maiden National IP Essay Competition as Copyright Ambassadors.
This is as it partners stakeholders to develop a Model Intellectual Property (IP) Policy for Nigerian universities.
This is contained in a statement by Vincent A. Oyefeso, the Director, Public Affairs Department of the commission.
Director-General of NCC, Mr. John O. Asein who revealed this in Abuja recently at a reception for the winners, remarked: “As winners and finalists of the maiden competition, you represent the product of a new dawn in the relationship between WIPO and Nigeria; a new beginning in the strategic dissemination of IP knowledge amongst students and young persons.”
The Director-General commended Ms. Susan Chioma Omeh of the Faculty of Law, University of Nigeria, overall winner of the competition organised by the WIPO Nigeria Office (WNO) as part of activities marking the 2020 World Intellectual Property Day.
Addressing the winners, led on the study visit to NCC Headquarters by the Programme Officer of WNO, Mr. Oluwatobiloba Moody, the Director-General disclosed that the Commission was already collaborating with the Association of Vice Chancellors of Nigerian Universities (AVCNU), the National Universities Commission and other stakeholders to develop a Model IP Policy for Nigerian Universities.
According to him, the policy would guide institutions on legally safe and sustainable use of IP in Nigerian tertiary institutions and provide a template for other areas of pro-active intervention.
“As Copyright Ambassadors and frontline stakeholders in your academic communities, your inputs will be required in the formulation and implementation of that Policy”, he pointed out, adding, “Together we can ensure that the intellectual property system in Nigeria provides the required support for the growth of our creative and innovation industries. Together we must make the IP system work in Nigeria and for Nigeria”.
Assuring that the Commission would not relent in the dissemination of IP knowledge, the Director-General noted that while Government and its constituent organs would continue to provide legislative and administrative frameworks, “the ultimate responsibility for the sustainable use of any IP system lies with the critical stakeholders”.
He observed that the theme of last year’s World IP Day celebrations and the topic of the essay: “Making Innovation Work for a Green Future in Nigeria” did not only focus on the global issue of the environment but also has metaphoric significance for Nigeria as a land with abundant creative talents, immense potentials and endowed with imaginative and talented people. In his words, “It is our collective responsibility to make intellectual property work for a greener, safer and more prosperous Nigeria”.
According to Mr. Asein, creativity and innovation have become the universal currency in today’s technology driven, knowledge-based economy: “Fortunately, there are very few barriers to creativity which is increasingly dominated by the younger generation; your generation; the digital generation. I am therefore delighted that we have a credible essay competition that gives students and young persons a voice in the policy space”.
The Director-General further charged the winners: “You are the bright hope of a better Nigeria where the value of IP as an inexhaustible national resource is well appreciated and accorded due respect at every level of society. We see all around us a generation of vibrant, determined and committed young creators, innovators and entrepreneurs and it is my belief that with the appropriate support, they can use the intellectual property system to bring about rapid turn-around in the economic fortunes of our great nation”.
The responsibilities of the Copyright Ambassadors include: assisting in the dissemination of copyright knowledge; initiating relevant programmes and activities to promote respect for copyright and other forms of IP; serving as liaisons between their institutions and the Commission on matters of copyright; providing feedback for the Commission on various aspects of intellectual property; assisting in policy formulation and implementation; and carrying out other assignments that the Commission may from time to time require.
In his remarks, Mr. Moody assured of the commitment of the WNO to the advancement IP capacity in the country. He indicated that the office was awarding the winners internship and scholarship opportunities within and outside the country.
While appreciating the DG, NCC for hosting the finalists, he assured that the WNO would continue to work with the Commission to strengthen IP and Copyright knowledge in Nigeria.
Other winners of the essay competition are Mr. Rotimi Owolabi, a law student of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife; Mr. Chibuzor Ndubisi, a mechanical engineering student of University of Nigeria, Nsukka; Mr. Habeebullah Asudemade, a law student of University of Ibadan; Miss Blessing Nwankwo, a law student of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife; Ms. Rafiat Shittu, a law student of University of Lagos; Mr. Abasi-Akara Edet, a law student of University of Nigeria, Nsukka; Mr. Victor Fabarebo, a law student of University of Ibadan; Ms. Oghosa Eghe-Abe, a law student of Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti; Ms. Ngozi Umeodinka, a law student of Lagos State University, Ojo; Ms. Sina Akinmusire, a law student of Lagos State University, Ojo; Ms. Adeife Omolumo, a law student of University of Lagos; and Ms. Amarachukwu Elekwa, a law student of Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti.