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FG nominates Adewopo to lead WIPO

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(Abuja) The Federal Government has nominated Prof. Adebambo Adewopo, a foremost professor of Intellectual Property to lead the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO).

Adewopo is one out of the 10 nominees recommended from different countries to head the UN agency beginning from September, 2020.

Other nominees are from Columbia, Peru, Ghana, Japan, Argentina, Estonia, Singapore, Republic of Kazakhstan and China.

Adewopo’s letter of nomination, signed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Geoffrey Onyema and made available to the Nigeria News Agency on Tuesday described him as most appropriate for the job.

The nomination addressed to Mr Francis Gurry, the outgoing Director-General of WIPO in Switzerland stated that: “I have the honour to refer to WIPO’s note CN-3926-04 dated Sept. 30, 2019, on the nomination of candidates for the position of Director-General of WIPO.

“I hereby present candidature of Professor Adebambo Adewopo, Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), for the position on behalf of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“Professor Adewopo is a leading intellectual property rights expert both professional and academic with several years of experience.

“He has held high-level positions, including a Director-General of the Nigerian Copyright Commission (2004 to 2010).

“He is very familiar with the workings of WIPO, having led numerous Nigerian delegations to various WIPO member state meetings and has also served as a tutor in WIPO’s distance learning programs,” it said.

The letter further stated convictions on Adewopo’s nomination for the global assignment, adding  that he has the capacity and professional exposure to lead the 50-year-old institution and its current 192 member states.

Onyeama affirmed the nominee as “Nigeria’s leading intellectual property expert with deep knowledge and practical experience in intellectual property and proven leadership.’’

NAN reports that the 54-year old Adewopo holds LL.B degree from University of Maiduguri and LL.M from the University of Lagos before proceeding to the Franklin Pierce Intellectual Property Center, University of Hampshire, U.S., where he bagged another LL.M in Intellectual Property Law.

He is a fellow of reputable institutes including Salzburg Seminar, Max Planck Institute of Competition, Intellectual Property and Centre for Studies in Intellectual Property and Information Technology Law, University of Edinburgh.

He is also a product of the apex Nigerian policy institution, the Nigerian Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies, Kuru, Jos.

He also attended Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business, among his Executive programmes profile.

Reacting to his nomination, Adewopo said if he emerged the next D-G of WIPO, his tenure would witness a three-point agenda aimed at deepening “Global cooperation; Global norms; and Global Development” of IPs across geographical and cultural borders.”

NAN reports that the election is scheduled to hold in Geneva, where the General Assembly of WIPO will announce a new D-G to steer the affairs of the organisation for the next six years.

Edited by: Nick Nicholas/Grace Yussuf

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