Microsoft wants protection of intellectual property rights in Nigeria

Microsoft also plans to train 100,000 Nigerians.

Microsoft West Africa on Friday promised to train 100,000 people and provide at least 75 per cent of them with jobs.

The Microsoft Small and Medium Solutions & Partner Director, Adefolu Majekodunmi, said this at a press briefing in Lagos held to commemorate the World Intellectual Property Day.

“We plan to train 100,000 people in ICT, with a focus on creativity and innovation, with the aim of providing at least 75 per cent of the trainee with jobs.

“We are partnering companies like Huawei to provide pocket-friendly smart devices with Nigerian content, developed by Nigerians.

“To have a favourable outcome of the training, a more enabling environment is needed for intellectual property rights. Without that, we cannot monetise ICT innovations,” he said.

Mr. Majekodunmi said the Ministry of Communications and Technology had recently established a $15 million IT Innovation fund, solely focused on ICT.

“Other relevant agencies should take a cue from the Ministry in providing an enabling environment for the development of creativity, innovation and protection of intellectual property rights.

“A good legal framework and proper enforcement is what is needed to create the enabling environment needed for the development of creativity and innovation,” he said.

Lanre Dabiri, a Nigerian artist– popularly known as Eldee– said if the scourge of intellectual property rights abuse was not arrested; it would ruin the development of creativity and innovation.

“I have over 400 songs catalogued and in the music industry for 15 years. I have not made up to N1 million in royalties due to lack of intellectual property rights law.

“If an enabling environment that protects and develops intellectual property is established in Nigeria, revenue will be generated for the government and individuals, and jobs will be created,” he said.

Yomi Badejo-Okusanya, the Managing Director, CMC Connect, said intellectual property rights’ awareness should be included in civic education to enlighten the public on its existence.

Gozie Ohumouwi, Anti-Piracy Manager, Multichoice Nigeria, said there was an urgent need to reform the copyright law to protect intellectual property.

“Intellectual property rights needs to be enforced to protect creativity and innovation,” he said.

(NAN)

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