Wednesday, November 1, 2017 2:49 pm
On 30 Monday October, the Jupiter Hall of Four Points by Sheraton in Victoria Island, Lagos came alive as Nigeria’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama engaged experts on intellectual property and drivers of the Nigerian creative industry at the 2017 Copyright Society of Nigeria ( COSON) Lecture.
Mr. Onyeama, who before being appointed Minister was Deputy Director-General of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), the Geneva based agency of the United Nations, spoke on “Intellectual Property Rights in the New Global Knowledge Economy” a subject with which he is clearly at home. He poured encomium on the COSON Chairman, Chief Tony Okoroji for his forcefulness and consistency in promoting the intellectual property cause in Nigeria and across the continent.
The minister did a thorough examination of the intellectual property landscape across the world, the trade related aspects of intellectual property (TRIPS) and the role of IP in the World Trade Organization (WTO). He was clear that without a firm appreciation of the role of intellectual property in economic development, the Nigerian economy will not reach its optimum.
Mr. Basil Udotai, intellectual property expert and Managing Partner, Technology Advisors undertook a forensic and systematic breakdown of the relationship between respect for intellectual property and economic advancement of several nations.
Chairman of the Lecture, Emeritus Professor, Egerton E. Uvieghara, the first Chairman of the Governing Board of the Nigerian Copyright Commission called for a full fledged Ministry of Intellectual Property because of the key role that Intellectual Property must play in the development of the country. Mr. Onyeama and Mr. Udotai received standing ovations for their deep presentations.
A panel of experts consisting of Mr. Obi Asika, COSON Board Member & Co-Founder, Cabal Entertainment; Mr. Mena Ajakpovi: Lawyer, Chairman, Nigerian Bar Association Section on Business Law; Mr. Obi Ezeilo, Zonal Manager, Nigerian Copyright Commission and Mr. Emeka Mba, former DG, National Film & Video Censors Board and former DG, National Broadcasting Commission thereafter debated the issues as they relate to the Nigerian situation. Led by Mr. Udota, they sought to chart a way forward for Nigeria.
Chairman, Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON) Chief Tony Okoroji who is one of the continent’s most renowned voices and thinkers on Intellectual Property Rights, moderated the lecture. Okoroji, the former president of PMAN and author of the celebrated book, ‘Copyright & the New Millionaires’ said that never before had a group of such brilliant minds been assembled to dissect an issue which the country urgently needs to understand, so as to ensure real growth in the nation’s economy.
Present were several eminent Intellectual Property lawyers, teachers and students of law and serious practitioners in the Nigerian creative industry. Among those present were the Lagos State Commissioner for Information & Strategy, Mr. Steve Ayorinde, immediate past president of the Intellectual Property Law Association of Nigeria, Prof. Bankole Sodipo, immediate past Director-General of the Nigerian Copyright Commission, Prof. Adebambo Adewopo SAN, Dean Faculty of Law, University of Lagos, Ms. Iyabode Oshodi, representing the Attorney-General of Lagos State, human rights activist and Commissioner in NDDC, Mr. Ogaga Ifowodo, eminent IP lawyer, Mr. Rockson Igelige, etc