By Eric Elezuo Photos: Funmilayo Adeyemi
As part of activities marking the 2017 COSON Week, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, led other distinguished personalities in intellectual property practice to present heart warming lectures for the COSON Lectures.
The Jupiter Hall of Four Points by Sheraton, Victoria Island, where the event was held was a beehive of activities as guests from all walks of life, ranging from experts in intellectual property to drivers of the Nigerian creative industry, took every available space.
Present at the highly intellectual gathering were eminent Intellectual Property lawyers, teachers and students of law as well as practitioners in the Nigerian creative industry.
Some of them were the Lagos State Commissioner for Information & Strategy, Mr. Steve Ayorinde; immediate past president of the Intellectual Property Law Association of Nigeria, Prof. Bankole Sodipo; immediate past Director-General of the Nigerian Copyright Commission, Prof. Adebambo Adewopo SAN; Dean Faculty of Law, University of Lagos; Ms. Iyabode Oshodi, representing the Attorney-General of Lagos State; human rights activist and Commissioner in Niger Delta Development Commission, Mr. Ogaga Ifowodo; eminent IP lawyer, Mr. Rockson Igelige; Mrs. Uche Unwuka of the Bank of Industry among others.
Mr. Onyeama, who before being appointed Minister was Deputy Director-General of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), the Geneva based agency of the United Nations, dealt extensively on “Intellectual Property Rights in the New Global Knowledge Economy” while acknowledging COSON Chairman, Chief Tony Okoroji for his forcefulness and consistency in promoting the intellectual property cause.
The minister, who did a thorough examination of the intellectual property landscape across the world, was clear that without a firm appreciation of the role of intellectual property in economic development, the Nigerian economy will not reach its optimum.
The guest speaker, Mr. Basil Udotai, a thoroughbred lawyer and Managing Partner, Technology Advisors, undertook a forensic and systematic breakdown of the relationship between respect for intellectual property and economic advancement of several nations, drawing inferences from every aspect of life.
The event was chaired by the nation’s undisputed father of Intellectual Property, Emeritus Professor, Egerton E. Uvieghara, the first ever Chairman of the Governing Board of the Nigerian Copyright Commission and teacher of many lawyers across Nigeria.
Uvieghara, in his remarks, called for a full fledged Ministry of Intellectual Property because of the key role plays in the development of the country.
The refreshing event was punctuated by a tea break, where participants were treated to special dishes and choice drinks, and thereafter, a panel of experts comprising Mr. Obi Asika, COSON Board Member & Co-Founder, Cabal Entertainment; Mr. Mena Ajakpovi: Lawyer, Chairman, Nigerian Bar Association Section on Business Law; Mr. Obi Ezeilo, Zonal Manager, Nigerian Copyright Commission and Mr. Emeka Mba, former DG, National Film & Video Censors Board and former DG, National Broadcasting Commission, debated IP issues as they relate to the Nigerian situation. This session was moderated by Mr. Udotai.
The chief host, Chief Tony Okoroji, one of the continent’s most renowned voices and thinkers on Intellectual Property Rights, and also author of the celebrated book, ‘Copyright & the New Millionaires’ said that never before had a group of such brilliant minds been assembled to dissect an issue which the country urgently needs to understand, so as to ensure real growth in the nation’s economy.
The COSON Lecture was the second in the series of activities marking COSON Week 2017.