The Federal Government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), with a UK- based Developing Africa Group to create Africa’s first Intellectual Property Rights (IPR), Commercialization project in Nigeria.
The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment Otunba Richard Adebayo disclosed this during the signing ceremony held recently in Abuja.
This is contained in a statement signed by Ibrahim Haruna, Head, Press and Public Relations of the Ministry and issued to newsmen on Saturday in Abuja.
It added that Adeniyi further said the MoU will allow the Group to use IPR as a means of resolving some of the issues and challenges facing Nigeria as well as create jobs and trade services.
The Minister, who was represented at the occasion by the Registrar, Trademark, Shafiu Adamu-Yauri, said the pilot project was structured for three Years.
“It is designed to place International Property Right (IPR), directly into some of the key issues and challenges in Nigeria as it will take advantage of technology.
” This is to address some of the issues surrounding unemployment and allow rural communities in Nigeria to start attracting commercial interests.
“Since trademarks are crucial to the promotion of trade and economic development, and Nigeria happens to be one of the strong regional hubs of trade in Africa being the continent’s biggest economy.
” It is no surprise that it has attracted the world’s IP governing body in Abuja, as Nigeria hosted one of the only two World Intellectual Property Office’s (WIPO) External Offices in Africa.
The statement qouted Adeniyi as ststing that, the project will assist the Registry of Trademarks in the effective administration and enforcement of Trademarks rights in Nigeria” the Minister added.
“Africa, in general, and Nigeria, in particular, faces an enormous challenge of industrialisation and unemployment generation given the significant population growth.
“The African Development Bank (AfDB) estimates that youth unemployment is twice as high as that of adults.
“And that young people account for approximately 60 per cent of the Continent’s jobless population.
“The problem is only set to become more acute given estimates that some 12 million young people on the Continent enter the job market each year.”
Adeniyi urged the Group to work closely with the WIPO Office in Nigeria in order to achieve their goals.
In her response, the Chairpersonship of the group, Hajiya Jamila Ahmadu-Suka, assured the use of IPR as a means of creating a series of technology based projects in Nigeria.
” This includes a project to make Nigeria become a zero tolerant nation for Trademark abuse with a Gig-economy mobile social media App.
” It will create up to 15,000 jobs across Nigeria for the detection of fake labels and abuse of trademark rights and other IPR violations in Nigeria,” she averred.