By Juliet Umeh
To create wealth, jobs and sufficiently defeat poverty in Nigeria, the federal government has said it will engage researchers, inventors and innovators to commercialize research results.
The Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu disclosed this when he received the board of IP First Group, made up of outstanding key players in the various fields of intellectual property in Nigeria in Abuja recently.
Dr. Onu also charged researchers, innovators and scientists to ensure that they patent and protect their research outputs because investors prefer research results that are patented.
He said: “Intellectual property is the best criteria to measure the creativity and inventiveness of a nation. Nigerians must be encouraged to protect their intellectual properties by getting them patented.”
He said that for Nigeria to create wealth, jobs and sufficiently defeat poverty, the nation needs to vigorously pursue a knowledge-based and innovation driven economy.
“The progress made in the issuance of patents has been remarkable. In 2016, the number of patents in Nigeria rose from 5 to 16 and by the end of 2017 it rose to 50 and still counting.”
He commended the IP first group on its efforts in the formulation of a National Intellectual Property Policy and Strategy for Nigeria and the establishment of an Industrial Property (IP) Commission.
Earlier, the Chairman of IP First Group, Dr. Umar Bindir, said the aim of the NGO was to ensure that Nigeria has a strong intellectual property policy, that will protect and patent research innovations indigenously developed in the country.
He lamented that lack of policy and Industrial Property Commission has significantly weakened Nigerian intellectual property system and constitutes a drain in Nigeria’s foreign exchange earnings.
He said his NGO is resolved to ensure that all elements of Intellectual Property are well documented and coordinated nationwide.
Dr. Bindir, said that Intellectual Property protection is a catalyst for national development and industrialization.