Friends of the Creator (Artistic) Foundation (FCF), has called on the Federal Government and National Assembly, to formulate policies and enact laws that will stimulate innovations and creativity.
The Foundation made the call in a statement issued on Sunday in Abuja to mark the 2020 World Intellectual Property Day (WIPD).
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that April 26 of every year is set aside for global commemoration of the crucial role that knowledge, in the form of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR), plays in advancing humanity.
The theme of this year’s celebration, as announced by the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), a United Nations agency, is “Innovate for a Green Future”.
In the statement, Dr Ogaga Ifowodo, the Chairman, Board of Trustees,FCF, said
Nigeria must drive innovation that would liberate the country from fossil fuel dependence to become proud participants in the green, clean and sustainable economy future of the world.
“Even before oil prices plummeted due to very low demand in the face of the global lockdown, the world was already gearing for the shift to a green, clean and sustainable future.
“Nigeria cannot, now or post-coronavirus, afford to depend on oil as “the mainstay” of the economy.
“If Nigeria is to make that crucial shift, the indispensable role of Intellectual Property Rights must also be given policy priority,” he said.
Ifowodo, therefore, called on the government to guarantee the protection of copyright, patent, trade mark, design rights, geographical indication or appellation of origin rights, and plant-breeding rights
He also stressed the need for the private sector, universities and research institutions, to join the global technology revolution in liberating the country from the fossilised dependence.
“We have no doubt in the ability of our citizens, working alone or in collaboration with others in the universities, research institutes or other intellectual collectives, to innovate Nigeria out of its dangerous fossil fuel dependence.
“They can make us proud participants in the green, clean and sustainable economy future of the world,” he said
Ifowodo called on the government to priotise education and ensure that the sector got the highest budgetary allocation from 2021.
“The critical juncture where the world finds itself now, prescribes a radical reassessment of priorities.
“For us in Nigeria, this requires a radical increase in the investment in education — which also demands the physical and curriculum rehabilitation of our educational institutions
“In short, FCF demands that starting from 2021, education must have the highest budgetary allocation,’ he said.
Ifowodo said the theme of the 2020 WIPD was apt as it called for innovation as a knowledge-driven solution to the consequences of unrestrained abuse of the environment.
He noted that prior to the coronavirus pandemic, the world had been given fiery warning with the devastating wild fires that swept through the Amazon, Australia, Indonesia and California in the United States.
“In short, 2019 was the year the earth was on fire.
“The coronavirus pandemic, leading to the near-total lockdown of the world economy, gives final warning to humans to be better custodians of the earth or face extinction,” he said.
Ifowodo recalled that the foundation had marked previous World Intellectual Property Day with elaborate events .
He said they offered only the press statement to mark the 2020 edition In deference to the social distancing imperative and the subsequent lockdown to slow down the coronavirus pandemic ravaging the world.