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IPR: U.S., Stakeholders say Intellectual Property Rights will encourage Nigeria’s investment climate

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 The U.S. Mission in Nigeria, the American Business Council and other partners in government and private sector have said that proper harnessing of Intellectual Property Rights will encourage Nigeria’s investment climate and grow the economy.

They spoke at a two-day  Intellectual Property (IP) Symposium  in Lagos on Monday with the theme:“The Bane of Counterfeit Pharmaceuticals and Piracy: Building Respect for Intellectual Property Rights as a Strategic Resource for Economic Growth”.

The World Trade Organisation says Intellectual property rights are the rights given to persons over the creations of their minds.

Ms Kathleen FitzGibbon,  Chargé d’Affaires, U.S. Embassy, Abuja, said intellectual property rights protection is important as it enables  the innovation and creativity needed to bolster economic growth.

According to FitzGibbon, strong intellectual property rights protection is essential to creating jobs and opening new markets for goods and services.

She said: “This is not just an American issue, this is a global issue.

“And as Nigeria moves ahead with goals of diversifying and shifting to a knowledge-based economy, a strong intellectual property rights regime will help attract investment and protect Nigerian ideas and Nigerian businesses.’’

She urged stakeholders, government, consumers and businesses to join forces in ensuring the protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights.

Also, Ms Tanya Hill, said with proper harnessing of IP, Nigeria stands ready to grow its economy along with the rest of the world.

Hill, is the International Computer Hacking and Intellectual Property (ICHIP) Attorney Adviser, Sub-Saharan Africa, U.S. Department of Justice (USDOJ)/Office of Overseas Prosecutorial Development and Training (OPDAT).

“Investments in IP are growing rapidly in the global economy, often exceeding investments in traditional property such as machinery, equipment and real estate.

“A strong intellectual property regime will further bolster Nigeria’s investment climate as Nigeria stands ready to grow its economy along with the rest of the world,’’ she said.

She added that IPR protection affects commerce throughout economies.

“Nigeria is the most populous country on the African continent, peharps, her greatest assets is her innovation, ingenuity and creativity of her people, her global influence manifests through Nollywood movies, music, books, art and technology.

“IPR  provides incentives to invent and create, protects innovators from unauthorised copying; creates platform for financial investments in innovation; supports startup liquidity and growth through mergers, acquisitions and IPOs.

“It makes licensing-based technology business models possible and enables an efficient market for technology transfer and trading in technology and ideas.

“Strong IPR protections foster growth and creativity within Nigeria.

“These IP protections and enforcement are to the Nigerian creative, pharmaceutical and industrial sectors and their impact on the diversification of the Nigerian economy,’’ Hill said.

Prof. Adebambo Adewopo, an intellectual property scholar and the IP Chair, Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, said the  role of IP had been multidimensional.

Adewopo, who delivered the keynote address, said IP cuts across many productive sectors of the economy and development disciplines.

According to him, IP also promises to assist in harnessing the enormous human resources that abound everywhere and in every field of human enterprise.

“In Nigeria, we often speak of the rich human resources as one of our greatest natural endowments.

“In reality, the resources in context should be referring to knowledge assets that are the products of creativity and innovation that constitute the hidden wealth of nations today.

“IP system without doubt remains the primary policy and legal infrastructure of innovation and the singular currency of the digital economy.

“IP has never been more economically and politically important than it is today, particularly in the multidimensional drive towards development.

“ More than before, the global IP system has assumed increasing complexity which in itself calls for a better understanding of the dynamic interaction between IP systems and sustainable development goals.’’

Adewopo also harped on the need for Nigeria to be committed to a national IP policy as a mechanism for improved development.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that a highlight of the ceremony was a performance by students of the Caro Favoured Schools of Ajegunle.

Their drama sketch was designed to raise awareness among Nigerian consumers on the importance of trademarks, brands and the dangers of counterfeit products.
VIV/PDE

(Editing by Peter Ejiofor)

Sport

Olympic champ Kipruto in training targets Continental Tour success

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Olympic 3,000m steeplechase champion, Consensus Kipruto, said he will be ready whenever the health situation allows resumption of sports competition.

Kipruto, who endured a torrid 2019 season, which left him with doldrums as he nursed a stress reaction in the talus bone in his foot, wants to return to action strongly and has been keeping a strict routine in training, albeit in isolation in Mosoriot.

“We have lost a lot this season, but I have to exploit the few competitions remaining.

“The Diamond League and Continental Tour meetings start in two months and I need to be ready.

“However, I have to maintain my social distance and follow government guidelines to avoid contracting Covid-19,’’ Kipruto said on Tuesday in Nandi.

Kipruto wants to avoid a repeat of last season, which saw him struggle, not to win races, but just to compete.

“I had a lot of stress, a lot of worries,’’ Kipruto said about last season.

Kipruto, who is also the Commonwealth Games champion in the water and hurdles race, had doubts about his preparations.

But ultimately, his tactics were vindicated when he won gold at the World Championships in Doha, Qatar.

He lauded his coach, Japter Keter, for the success, saying he Keter changed the focus of his training.

But now he faces a new challenge to remain safe and healthy and be in top shape ahead of the start of the delayed athletics season in 2020, which draws its curtains with the Continental Tour Gold meeting in Turku, Finland on Aug. 11.

Kenya’s athletics Head Coach, Julius Kirwa, has asked elite runners to continue training in whatever condition they are so as to avoid injuries and taking a long time to hit their peak whenever the government lifts bans on training camps.

“We already know when the Diamond League calendar starts.

“We also have the Continental Tour, which offers athletes more platform to compete and get compensation for the time lost.

“They should plan accordingly and be ready to compete when the world allows competition to resume. “But for now, they need to train cautiously because of Covid-19,’’ said Kirwa.

AIB

Edited By: Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)

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Foreign

Olympic champ Kipruto in training, targets Continental Tour success

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Olympic 3,000m steeplechase champion Consensus Kipruto said he will be ready whenever the health situation allows resumption of sports competition.

Kipruto, who endured a torrid 2019 season, which left him with doldrums as he nursed a stress reaction in the talus bone in his foot, wants to return to action strongly and has been keeping a strict routine in training, albeit in isolation in Mosoriot.

“We have lost a lot this season, but I have to exploit the few competitions remaining. The Diamond League and Continental Tour meetings start in two months and I need to be ready. However, I have to maintain my social distance and follow government guidelines to avoid contracting Covid-19,” Kipruto said on Tuesday in Nandi.

Kipruto wants to avoid a repeat of last season, which saw him struggle, not to win races, but just to compete. “I had a lot of stress, a lot of worries,” Kipruto said about last season.

Kipruto, who is also the Commonwealth Games champion in the water and hurdles race, had doubts about his preparations, but ultimately, his tactics was vindicated when he won gold at the World Championships in Doha, Qatar.

He lauded his coach Japter Keter for the success, saying he changed the focus of his training.

But now he faces a new challenge to remain safe and healthy and be in top shape ahead of the start of the delayed athletics season in 2020, which draws its curtains with the Continental Tour Gold meeting in Turku, Finland on Aug. 11.

Kenya’s athletics head coach Julius Kirwa, has asked elite runners to continue training in whatever condition they are so as to avoid injuries and taking long time to hit their peak whenever the government lifts bans on training camps.

“We already know when the Diamond League calendar starts. We also have the Continental Tour which offers athletes more platform to compete and get compensation for the time lost. They should plan accordingly and be ready to compete when the world allows competition to resume. But for now, they need to train cautiously because of Covid-19,” said Kirwa.

(XINHUA)

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Foreign

U.S. drives global growth in military spending: SIPRI

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The United States drives global growth in military spending, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) said in a report on Monday.

Military spending by the United States grew by 5.3 percent to a total of 732 billion U.S. dollars in 2019 and accounted for 38 percent of global military spending. The increase in U.S. spending in 2019 alone was equivalent to the entirety of Germany’s military expenditure for that year, the report said.

“The recent growth in U.S. military spending is largely based on a perceived return to competition between the great powers,” said Pieter D. Wezeman, Senior Researcher at SIPRI.

Total global military expenditure rose to over 1.9 trillion dollars in 2019, according to the data from SIPRI. The total for 2019 represents an increase of 3.6 percent from 2018, the largest annual growth in spending since 2010.

SIPRI’s research covers international conflicts, armaments, arms control and disarmament.
(XINHUA)

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Foreign

Procuratorates approve arrest of 7,430 for IPR infringement in 2019

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China‘s procuratorates approved the arrest of 7,430 suspects for infringing intellectual property rights (IPR) in 2019, up 24.3 percent year on year, according to the Supreme People’s Procuratorate (SPP) on Saturday.

The suspects were involved in 4,346 cases, which represented a rise of 31.5 percent from the previous year, the SPP said.

The SPP said 11,003 people involved in 5,433 cases were prosecuted last year, up 32.2 percent and 21.9 percent from 2018, respectively.

Over the past 20 years, the number of criminal cases of IPR infringement in China has risen sharply, said Zheng Xinjian, a prosecutor with the SPP. He added that over 190 people were prosecuted for IPR infringement in 1999, while the number has increased by about 56 times in 2019.

Zheng noted that trademark infringement cases have accounted for about 90 percent of all the criminal cases of IPR infringement in the past five years.
(XINHUA)

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General news

Abba Kyari: Death, necessary end – NIPR

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The Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR) has described the death of Malam Abba Kyari, Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari, as a necessary end that came at the appointed time.
NIPR in a statement signed on Saturday by its President, Mr Mukhtar Sirajo, described Kyari as a diligent public servant.
Sirajo said what matters in life is what one brings to life and not the timing of his or her death.
“Being a necessary end that comes at appointed time, it is not the timing of one’s death that is important; rather, what one brings to life matters more.
According to him, we derive consolation from the fact that Malam Abba Kyari lived a life well spent serving his country diligently in various capacities, in both private and public sectors.
“On behalf of the Institute, I convey our most heartfelt condolences to his family, President Muhammadu Buhari and indeed all Nigerians over the death.
“It is our earnest prayer that Allah forgives his faults, grants him eternal rest in Jannatul Firdaus and grant the family and all of us the fortitude to bear this irreparable loss,” Sirajo said.

Edited By: Angela Okisor/Donald Ugwu (NAN)

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General news

COVID-19: ‘Nigeria needs more testing facilities to expose pandemic’ – NIPR 

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The Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR) has called for the establishment of more testing centres in the country to quickly identify cases and carriers of the Coronavirus in the country.

President of NIPR, Mallam Mukhtar Sirajo, made the call in a statement issued on Friday in Abuja.

He urged the government to assist the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) in establishing more testing centres to build on the successes recorded  in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

“The NIPR believes that the relatively low figures of those that have so far tested positive for the COVID-19 gives cause for optimism that the pandemic will be contained shortly.

“We must, however, not rest on our oars as the figures may not be telling the full story; the devil is in the number of people so far tested.

“The government should therefore intensify efforts at providing more testing facilities and distributing same across the nooks and crannies of the country, to avoid the potential of people being infected without knowing,” Sirajo said.

He noted that the success recorded in the country so far in containing the pandemic would have been greater had some critical stakeholders like the NIPR and Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) worked with the Presidential Task Force.

Sirajo also noted that the disagreement between the NMA and the Federal Government over the coming of Chinese medical experts to the country would have been avoided if all hands were on deck.

“The medical dimension of the COVID-19 is no doubt the spindle around which the wheel revolves, but the pandemic is also a crisis of monumental proportions.

“Taking a strategic stakeholder like the NMA into confidence through regular consultations would have enriched the initiative and provided professional expertise to accommodate the peculiarities of our reality.

“Strategic crisis communication is, therefore, also important as handling the situation requires not only public enlightenment but also the crafting of appropriate messages for it.

“Networking with other stakeholders as well as analysis of pros and cons of measures to be taken as they affect segments of the society is also important.

“With the WHO commendation of Nigeria’s effective efforts at curbing the pandemic, what our doctors needed, among others, was some encouragement and a boost at this crucial time.

“Our reputation as a nation, as a people as well as our territorial integrity is at stake; we must therefore guard against mortgaging it for anything,” Sirajo said.

He assured that the NIPR would continue to support the initiatives of both the federal and state governments as well as other concerned organisations involved in providing genuine sustainable solutions.

Edited By: Kamal Tayo Oropo/ Sadiya Hamza
(NAN)

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Foreign

Chinese experts, equipment cost $2m, mission reciprocity — Ambassador

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The Ambassador of China to Nigeria, Zhou Pingjian, on Wednesday said the Chinese experts that arrived Nigeria came to reciprocate the gestures demonstrated by Nigeria during China’s trying times in fighting Covid-19

Speaking with newsmen after the arrival of the team along with more medical equipment, the Ambassador acknowledged that the Nigerian government had shown China great solidarity when it struggled with the Coronavirus pandemic.

He therefore, said the support coming from the Chinese government and its companies in Nigeria was China’s way of reciprocating.

He noted that so far, it had cost China’s Construction Company, CCECC about two million dollars to bring in the experts and the medical equipment.

The ambassador said that he could not understand the rationale behind the attitude of some Nigerians who were against the coming of the experts.

“I am struggling to understand the logic, for us, at the most difficult stage of our fight, we received support from Nigeria, it is time for us to reciprocate the friendship and the kindness.

“This is the first time I met the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, since early February and I appreciate the strong support for us from him and the government.

“For the government and Chinese businesses, what we are trying to do is to address the concerns of our dear friends.

“According to the information the CCECCE gave to me, the value of the equipment and medical supplies is around $1.5 million and including the other costs like the flight it is around $2 million,” he said.

He disclosed that the experts were originally billed to stay for one month but noted that the mandatory quarantine may also determine how long they will stay.

The ambassador said the major secret which worked for China, especially in Wuhan the epicentre of the virus, was the lockdown and the success in breaking the chain of transmission.

“The lockdown in Wuhan lasted 76 days, since January Wuhan had been in lockdown, today has been the very first day that the lockdown has been lifted.

“One key measure for us to fight the Covid-19 is to try every means to break the chain of transmission,” he said.

(
Edited By: Peter Ejiofor)
(NAN)

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Agriculture

Lagos graduates 200 agriprenuers to scale-up food security status

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The Lagos State Government says the 200 beneficiaries of the Lagos Agripreneurship Programme (LAP) have been empowered to scale-up food security and self-sufficiency status in the state.

 

The State Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr Gbolahan Lawal, said this at the graduation of the first batch of the participants at the Lagos Agriprenuership Programme at the Agricultural Training Institute, Araga Epe on Sunday.

 

Lawal said that the participants had been  exposed to world class threshold and practical training in poultry, aquaculture, piggery and vegetable production as well as business management, entrepreneurship and e-Agriculture.

 

He said that the programme had been able to achieve its objective of engaging, equipping and empowering women and youths to become world class Agripreneurs and boost the food production level in the state.

 

Lawal said that the state government was strongly committed to the implementation of the second phase of the programme that  would involve the state government going into partnership  with  the existing farms/agribusinesses.

 

He said that  it would help the state  to attach beneficiaries to agribusinesses closet to their residences for internship pending linkage to sources of finance.

 

He said that government would also facilitate access to financing for the 200 beneficiaries as well as establish additional enterprise-specific farm estates across the state.

 

He said that  participants would be allocated land space according to the enterprise of interesting those farm estates.

 

According to him, this programme was conceptualised by the state government to solve the hydra-headed problem of women and youth unemployment in the state.

 

He said  that ths state government had observed how ayoung school leavers and women had been migrating daily  to Lagos in search of jobs that had, over the years, continued to be elusive.

 

“I am delighted to report that the Lagos Agripreneurship Programme which was flagged off on Feb. 10, 2020, has trained 200 participants comprises of 100 males and 100 females.

 

“Of this number, 135 were trained in the poultry and piggery value chains and 65 in aquaculture value chain.

 

“Let me, therefore, congratulate all the beneficiaries for being part of the army of job creators and food producers that we desire to build.

 

“It is my belief that this is the beginning of your greatness and I sincerely urge you to manage and utilise the knowledge and skills that you have acquired during the course of this 30-day training to your maximum advantage,” Lawal said.

 

The commissioner explained that  the previous administrations in the state had embarked on a journey to creating jobs, alleviating poverty and ensuring food security in the state .

 

He said this was through the establishment of agriculture-based Youth Empowerment Scheme popularly known as Agric-Yes.

 

He said the scheme resulted in the training of 600 youths in the various agricultural value chains over the years.

 

“In view of the increasing rate of unemployment among youths and women, this is like a drop in the ocean.

 

“As a result, the administration of Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu evolved a new approach; the Lagos Agripreneurship Programme (LAP).

 

“It is capable of training and empowering a much larger number of women and youths in the agricultural value chains such as aquaculture, poultry, piggery and vegetable as well as equipping them with entrepreneurship and e-agric skills among others,” the commissioner said.

 

Lawal said that a committee would be set up to look into their business plans in order to facilitate funds and grants through partnership with the CBN and ETF with a view to placing them in the value chain that they are best suited for.

 

Earlier, the Special Adviser on Agriculture, Ms Abisola Olusanya, had  urged the participants to fill in the gaps in the agricultural value chain by adding value to the system.

 

She advised them to be accountable to what they had learnt during the 30 days  of intensive training and the society at large adding that they must give back to their immediate communities.

 

One of the graduating students, Olayinka Alabi, who spoke on behalf of other  beneficiaries   appreciated the state government for coming up with the initiative to empower women and youths.

 

He said that  the programme had exposed them to several opportunities that exist in the agricultural value chains and promised that they would tap into the opportunities presented.

 

The Nigeria News Agency reports that Mrs Titlayo Olarinde emerged the best overall student at the training.

 

Olarinde would be given a land in any location of her choice within the state farm estates settlement to farm.

 

Other winners are:  Mr Olusegun Oyewole, best in the poultry value chain, Mrs Zanaib Hameed, best in aquaculture, Mr Olayinka Atere, best in vegetable value chain, Mr Ibrahim Adele, best in  entrepreneurship and Adeola Diyaolu, best in e-agriculture.

 

Edited By: Bola Akingbehin/Peter Dada
(NAN)

 

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Agriculture

Lagos to build e-agriprenuers to drive agriculture, digital marketing- Commissioner

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The Lagos State Government says it is training modern agriprenuers who will drive further its e-agriculture policy of digital sales and marketing of agricultural produce.

The State Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr Gbolahan Lawal, made this known on Thursday during a visit to the Batch I trainees of the ongoing one-month Lagos Agripreneurship Programme at the Agricultural Training Institute, Araga, Epe.

Lawal said that the new crop of farmers undergoing the training would be the pioneers of the state government’s e-agriculture policy, which would see to the trading of agricultural produce using all social media platforms as marketing tools.

According to Lawal, the use of digital marketing would greatly enhance sales which will in turn translate to farmers getting more profit for their efforts.

He said that it would widening their scope of agriculture from the traditional method of farming to a more advanced farming system.

The commissioner said that digital agriculture would also arouse the interest of more youths into the sector to create more jobs and reduced unemployment, enhancing economic activities, and reduce crimes rate within the state.

He said it would also help to achieve the state’s target of producing at least 25 per cent of the food consumed by residents of the state before the end of 2025.

“This training is expected to produce 2,000 ‘laptop carrying farmers’ and agripreneurs in 2020, who will in turn become job creators, thereby promoting food security and improving the nutrition and general wellbeing of Lagosians.

“We will take over the digital space by using all social media platforms to market our agricultural produce.

“As a result more profit will be generated and many more youths would express interest in the Agricultural sector,” Lawal said.

The commissioner said beneficiaries of the LAP would revolutionised the agriculture space by exploring all opportunities.

He said the state government would accommodate successful participants in some of its farm settlements and estates.

“There are so much opportunities for beneficiaries in the agriculture space to explore.

“We have about 16 farm settlements and estates; in those estates, we will accommodate you there.

“Some of you, very successful ones, will be given opportunity to be at the Ketu-Ereyun Fish Farm Estate.

“I want to assure you that there are ample opportunities in this agriculture space, and we are also doing a lot in terms of linkage with financial services institutions,” he said.

Acording to him, about 3,100 participants obtained the form, while 1,306 sat for the screening test and 716 participated in the oral interview.

He said the state government would train 2,000 women and youths every year.

“What informed the creation of AGRIC-YES some years ago was youths unemployment; a lot of youths were unemployed and we wanted to see how we can absorb them in the agriculture space.

“We were able to train 600 people back then, out of them, we have about 10 of them in Isreal.

“In the past, the best 10 participants were sent to Israel for three months course.

“From what I can see today, they have the passion, they are enthusiastic, energetic and have been given the right skills.

“We have listened to them, they are the game changers; they are going to revolutionise the agriculture space in Lagos.

“They have a lot of opportunities, the Eko City Farmers’ Market that we just launched on Feb. 23, whatever they produce, the market is waiting for them. Lagosians are yearning for them ” the commissioner said.

He urged the trainees not to limit their scope to local agribusiness alone, adding that the diaspora markets were seeking more African food stores that would be able to produce or supply food peculiar to Africa.

According to him, government on its part will partner with existing farms and agribusinesses with a view to attaching participants to agribusinesses closest to their location of residence for internship pending linkage to sources of finance.

In her remarks, Ms Abisola Olusanya, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Agriculture, also urged them to be committed to agriculture as there were several potential to be exploited in the sector.

“Being in the agriculture space is not easy, because it involves you rearing something and waiting for it to grow.

“What that means is that the element of patience has to be there, but a lot of people don’t have.

“But in this space, you must have that patience for you to see what you allow to grow to become successful,” she said.

Also, Dr Olayiwole Onasanya, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, urged the participants to embrace agriculture as a profession they could settled in and have a life long benefit.

Onasanya said agriculture was dominant in Nigeria ecology, adding that youths were the ones that could move the sector forward.

A participant, Mrs Fatimah Sanni, commended the state government for introducing the Lagos Agripreneurship Programme.

Sanni, who spoke on behalf of other participants, said that they would take advantage of the training and skills to improve and increase the food self-sufficiency of the state.

Edited By: Fela Fashoro/Olagoke Olatoye

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Contact US: editor @nnn.com.ng, nnnnews247 @gmail.com

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