The Nigerian Copyright Commission, NCC, Wednesday, awarded 15 winners of the 2020 maiden WIPO National Intellectual Property Essay Competition from various tertiary institutions of the country in Abuja.
The program, championed by the World Intellectual Property Organization, WIPO, is geared towards creativity, such as inventions, literary and artistic works, designs and symbols, names, images, logos, business marks used by organizations and individuals in commerce.
It is also generally referred to as intangible assets, which is different from tangible financial assets. Intangible assets include goodwill, brand recognition, patents, trademarks, and copyright.
The competition organized for students of tertiary institutions with an essay of 1500 words, saw Susan Omeh, a 500 level law student from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, as the overall winner of the competition.
The competition also saw Chantelle Chiwetalu, a 500 level law student from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, and Olanrewaju Balogun, a 300 level law student from the Lagos State University, as first and second runner ups of the competition.
The Director-General of the Nigerian Copyright Commission, Mr John Asein, in his remarks, said he has appointed the winners of the competition as ambassadors to the Commission.
“As winners of the maiden competition, you represent the product of a new dawn in a relationship between WIPO and Nigeria. A new beginning in the strategic dissemination of IP knowledge amongst students and young persons.
“You are the bright hope of a better Nigeria where the value of IP as an inexhaustible national resource is well appreciated. You, therefore, represent those millions of young and talented Nigerians on whose shoulders the enormous weight of national development will rest in years to come.
“It is our cooperate responsibility to make IP work for a greener, safer and more prosperous Nigeria. The NCC is appointing the 15 winners as copyright ambassadors.
“As Copyright ambassadors, we will be sending you to your institutions and to the larger world to propagate copyright knowledge and IP knowledge for the good of Nigeria and the world”, he stated.
According to him, the Intellectual Property, IP, will create pathways for the innovation and creative industry in Nigeria and insists the system must work in Nigeria as it will build, grow the capacities of various Intellectuals in the country.
He said, “We see all around us a generation of vibrant, determined and committed young creators, innovators and entrepreneurs. It is my belief that with the appropriate support they can use the IP system to bring about a rapid turnaround in the economic fortunes of the country.
“This is one reason why the commission will not relent in its efforts to disseminate IP knowledge to each of those sectors in Nigeria.
“Together we can ensure that the IP 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”.
The DG noted that The commission will come up with a model National IP Policy for Nigerian universities. “The policy when completed will provide guidance on legally safe and sustainable use of IP in Nigerian tertiary institutions and provide a template for other areas of proactive interventions.
“As Copyright ambassadors and frontline stakeholders in your academic institutions, we will be urging you to make inputs at some point to the final document before it is rolled out”, he noted.
Also speaking, the Leader of the WIPO Nigerian Office, Mr Oluwatobiloba Moody, reiterated that the program is not cash incentive-driven, but seeks to make young intellectuals have major contributions to various sectors in the country.
“We want to create an opportunity to help young talents grow and build their capacities, which is a priority for us. We don’t look at cash incentives but we look for ways to advance them professionally.
He noted that “Some of the prices they have been given are internship in firms, scholarships to take distance learning programs and courses, scholarships for summer school participation outside the country. All these we believe represents the future of our country”.
Fielding questions from journalists, the overall winner of the IP competition, Susan Omeh, said that “the issue of IP in Nigeria is not vested in our institutions. As much as possible we are going to see to it that more IP clubs are created in the country.”
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