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Group tips creative industry to add over 40% to GDP

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Faults unreliable intellectual property policy
If properly harnessed, Nigeria’s creative industry can add over 40 per cent revenue yearly to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Expressing this view yesterday at a policy dialogue in Abuja, the African Policy Conversation faulted the country’s unreliable intellectual property policy.

In her opening address, the Programme Director, Chinenye Uwanaka, said: “Nigeria’s music has now become a multi-billion dollar industry. If the right intellectual property policy is put in place, the nation can add as much as over 50 per cent revenue to her GDP.

“There has to be a shift from revenues from oil and gas; though they are still important to us, we must now focus on areas that can give better employment opportunities to our youths. Young people want to be like Davido, Wizkid, Olamide, 2face, top fashion designers. All of these are under intellectual property.”

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Uwanaka said that the invent, which drew participants from the Federal Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry, the academia, the bar, the media, National Assembly, just to mention a few, was brainstorming on a framework for an Intellectual Property Policy bill to correct the obsolete laws regulating the industry.

She explained, “We are going to try and do things differently, we want these businesses to grow in Nigeria and employ more people, to bring in foreign exchange, to expand our economy. Yes, we are talking about economic diversification.

“Unfortunately, we are still short of data, especially to know exactly how much the nation is losing.”

A member of the group, Chinenye Mba-Uzoukwu, said Nigeria was lagging behind in the 21st century when other countries were already leveraging on technology.

“Areas like intellectual property are components of the knowledge economy. So, if the country wants to properly focus on it, there is need for her to build proper policy on education. Lots of funds are now coming into this country via Nollywood, and all of these are not captured.

“We need to have a kind of legal framework. We also need to have the ability to inform people, so that such legislations are followed with enforcement, because without enforcement, such legal framework may not do the country good,” she said.

The national coordinator, Office for the Nigerian Content Development in Information and Communications Technology (ICT), National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Kasim Sodangi, said that the country needed to design laws for the present circumstance.

“We need to ask ourselves, where are we in intellectual property development? How do we support businesses and put resources into place? You can draft a beautiful law and if there is no one to enforce it, it means nothing,” he added.


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