Council calls for Intellectual Property law to boost economy

The American Business Council (ABC) has called for a strong legislation on Intellectual Property (IP) protection toward attracting more investments and boosting economic growth.

Mrs Margaret Olele, Executive Secretary of the Council, made the appeal in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Tuesday.

Olele said that the Ease of Doing Business reform of the Federal Government would be ineffective and incomplete without strong IP laws to protect innovative brands and the Small and Medium Enterprises.

“The promotion and protection of creativity and innovation are imperatives for the development of the economy.

“Intellectual Property needs to be accorded more attention because it has the capacity to boost our competitiveness, attractiveness, innovation, employment and revenue generation,’’ she said.

According to her, Intellectual Property is at the core of human development which offers great potential for contributing to the revival of the economy and sustainable development.

Olele said that the council was collaborating with the U.S. Embassy and Anti-Counterfeiting Collaboration (ACC) to deepen Intellectual Property in Nigeria.

“Government needs to know how much the economy is hemorrhaging due to the lack of clear IP laws.

“The U.S. Mission in partnership with the American Business Council, Anti-Counterfeit Collaboration and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce will be hosting a two-day Intellectual Property Symposium in Lagos in September.

“The symposium is designed to create robust engagement with the public and private sector and will highlight piracy and counterfeiting in the Pharmaceutical Sector through a documentary film called BANE.

“With the documentary, we plan to show how businesses lost millions of Naira due to lack of IP laws,’’ she said.

Olele noted that government’s efforts to improve the nation’s business clime would be fruitless without laws to protect Intellectual Properties of organisations from counterfeiting.

She urged the National Assembly to expedite the passage of the Intellectual Property Commission (IPCOM) Bill presented to it by the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment toward protecting assets of business organisations in the country.

Olele said that the best way to protect local manufacturers was providing the enabling law to protect their Intellectual Property.