As apart of efforts to drive economic growth for Nigeria, the Federal government is desiring to establish legal framework on Geographical Indications for Nigerian products
Speaking at the National Conference in collaboration with the European Union on “Creating Legal and Institutional Frameworks for Geographical Indications in Nigeria”, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo said Geographical indications will play a major role in helping local producers generate greater value and global recognition for their products.
Adebayo, who assured that the Federal Government was committed to ensuring that Nigeria exports more finished goods believed that the conference would go a long way in helping Nigeria establish an enabling environment for the growth and expansion of its national GI products, such as the Ijebu garri; Nsukka Yellow Pepper; the Sokoto Red Skin Goat amongst others.
He commended the European Union and European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) in particular, for funding the Intellectual Property Rights and Innovation in Africa (AfriPi project), adding that “the AfriPI Project has gone a long way in supporting African companies, creators and inventors to generate value from their intellectual property”.
“For many years, stakeholders from both the public and private sector in Nigeria have worked hard to promote and draw attention to geographical indications and other forms of intellectual property protection in Nigeria” the Minister noted.
According to the Minister, GIs are critical drivers of economic growth for Nigeria to generate more income from local production, as Nigeria Is one of the most culturally diverse societies in the world with GI products ranging from the popular Ijebu garri to Nsukka Yellow Pepper, the Sokoto Red Skin Goat and the famous Yauri Onions.
He however lamented that the poor knowledge of geographical Indications and the absence of a specific legal framework has rendered Nigeria’s unique products more vulnerable to misappropriation.
Adebayo is of the view that the concept of cultural misappropriation that is now being discussed more openly and around is creating more awareness about GIs as an important collective asset for the value creation process that could contribute to Nigeria’s economic strength.
For his part, the Director General for Agriculture and Rural Development for the European Commission, John Clarke said Agriculture has huge potentials for export in Nigeria.
He reaffirmed that with a proper framework for farmers, the country’s economy will grow rapidly due to abundant agriculture and unique varieties that will be exported.
Also speaking, Head of European Union Intellectual Property, Ignacio Medrano
was certain that with the protection of the Geographical Indications in Nigeria, there will be increase in agricultural product price, export and tourism.
Affirming that Nigeria has abundance of important and specific qualitative products, Medrano said “We are here to support the country to establish legal framework, to establish protection for agricultural products with specific link to tradition and culture”.