BusinessDay

Intellectual Property: A trajectory changer of Nigeria’s economy

Intellectual Property is a category of property that includes intangible creations of the human intellect. Intellectual Property refers to creation of the mind such as inventions, literary works, designs and symbols, names and images used in commerce. The most recognised types of intellectual property are: copyrights, trade marks, patents and trade secrets.

The main purpose intellectual property law sprung into being is to encourage the creation of a wide variety of intellectual property goods. This gives economic incentive for their creation, because it allows people to benefit from the information and intellectual goods that they create and allows creators to protect their ideas and also prevents copying of such ideas. These economic incentives are expected to stimulate innovation and contribute to the technological progress of countries, which depends on the extent of protection granted to innovators.

Nigeria has began to recognise the role of intellectual capital as a catalyst for sustainable economic growth. The pandemic has revealed to our country that while the intellectual goods thrived oil prices declined. The quest for intellectual property and protection of its rights fully stems from small and medium enterprises sectors, also known as SMEs.

According to research, the SME sector contributes 49 percent of Nigeria’s GDP and accounts for about 99 percent of Nigeria’s businesses. SMEs are very flexible and have a high innovation capacity, and they are well positioned to chart a new course post pandemic through employment generation and income redistribution. However, for them to really grow to their full potential there is a need to protect and commercialise their creations.

This will increase revenue generation and the exclusivity that intellectual property rights offer enables small and medium enterprises to earn royalties and generate income from licensing their intellectual property assets.

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Nigeria presently is looking for other ways to generate revenue and has sought into agriculture with investments, and to further generate revenue Nigeria has to look into intellectual property.

Intellectual Property system creates a framework in which developing countries can participate in the economic activities of the developed world. If Nigeria wants to attract a high influx of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into the country, the nation has the primary responsibility of creating an environment where intellectual property rights are protected and effective enforcement measures are in place. This will attract and give investors confidence that their investments are protected and returns on investments assured.

This will ultimately transcend into creating huge investment opportunities and increased revenue creation. Which will gently divert Nigeria’s main focus of revenue allocation to another path: intellectual property.

Many countries are diverting their focus from a resource-based economy to a knowledge driven one because intellectual property goods have shown resilience despite a great attack of economies during the pandemic.

Bamgbose, an analyst, writes from Lagos

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