ON WORLD INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY DAY, OKOROJI CALLS FOR A NEW NIGERIA DRIVEN BY CREATIVITY AND KNOWLEDGE
Chairman, Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON), Africa’s fastest growing copyright collective management organization, has in a public statement to mark the World Intellectual Property Day, 2018, called for a new Nigeria driven by creativity and knowledge.
In his statement, Chief Okoroji who is one of Africa’s most acclaimed intellectual property activists, said, “Everywhere you go, the ingenuity of the Nigerian people is on display. Our music, movies, literature, fashion, programming and similar products of the creative endeavour are in substantial demand across the world. In the creative industry, Nigeria has significant comparative advantage. We only need a spark to light the fire. It is our belief that If we properly manage this gift the Almighty has given to us, the result will confound the world.
According to Okoroji, ‘‘As we mark ‘‘World Intellectual Property Day” with the theme ‘‘Powering Change: Women in innovation and creativity’’, we once again ask for a new Nigeria in which the people of wealth and influence are no longer those who have brazenly stolen the people’s patrimony.
“We ask for a Nigeria driven by knowledge and creativity. We demand a nation where a creative songwriter can depend on his creativity and live well; a good performer does not have to worry about how to feed his family; a talented filmmaker or actor will not be burdened by where his next rent will come from; a gifted author can become a millionaire and does not have to sweat at the thought of his children’s school fees and a fashion designer with unique talent can be celebrated for his or her creativity. We ask for a Nigeria in which a great photographer can be a man of means; an architect does not also have to be a builder to earn commensurate income from his talent; an inventor can live off his invention and a creator of content can thrive from the deployment of his content.
“We earnestly ask for a Nigeria in which a lecturer is no longer ashamed to say that he teaches for a living. In other words, we demand a nation in which knowledge and creativity are celebrated.
The former President of PMAN who has recently led demonstrations against institutions and officials of the Federal Government over legal issues bordering on intellectual property, has requested the government to stop hounding those who have committed their lives to the upholding of the laws that further the environment for the growth of intellectual property in Nigeria and to see people like him as patriots and not subversives
According to Chief Okoroji, the author of Copyright & the New Millionaires, “We request that the energy that has been deployed by officials of the government to subvert and destabilize COSON which despite all odds has been a major Nigerian success story and an example of what is possible in our country, should be deployed in ensuring that other institutions in other areas of intellectual property are improved and strengthened for the good of our nation”.
He gave kudos to Nigerian women in the creative industry whom he said continue to succeed regardless of a very unsupportive environment. Chief Okoroji said that in recognition of the strides made by Nigerian women in the creative industry, COSON recently put three Nigerian women on its board instead of the lone woman that used to be on the board. He said that it is in the same way that of the six heads of departments at COSON, three are women.