September 1, 2021

SMEDAN decries dearth of intellectual property knowledge among SMEs

Connect Nigeria

By Juliet Umeh 

Director-General, Small & Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria, SMEDAN Dikko Umaru Radda has said that most Small and Medium Enterprises, SMEs struggle because they refuse to take advantage of intellectual property benefits to their businesses.

Radda said that robust intellectual property, IP, can grow businesses as much as it contributes to economic growth.

He regretted that in spite of this, a lot of businesses in Nigeria especially the small and medium-size entrepreneurs do not assess, audit, evaluate or monetise their intellectual property.

Radda made the assertions at a forum tagged Intellectual Property Forum Nigeria, organized by IP Radio Station in conjunction with hybrid indigenous tourism and leisure company, Butterfly Tourism

The DG who was represented by Assistant Director and Head of SMEDAN, Ogun State, Bumi Kole-Dawodu, said some of the SMEs don’t know even as little as what trademark or protection is all about, and as a result, have been running businesses for decades without any protection of their IP.

He said: “I think the collaboration between those that are championing IPR in Nigeria and SMEDAN is inevitable at this moment where the business world is changing in Nigeria.

“People need to guard whatever they have with everything they have inside of them to make it work”

Earlier in his opening remarks, founder/CEO of IP Radio Nigeria, Mr. Nosa Uwadaie called for the democratization of intellectual property, considering that it has become a human right

He said: “We shouldn’t see IP as only meant for multinationals. It permeates every facet of our business and national life. In fact, IP is a human right property in every facet of human existence, be it biological, environmental, or business.”

Corroborating Uwadaie, President of Intellectual Property Law Association of Nigeria, IPLAN, Obafemi Agaba said: “A robust IP regime will impact on the economy of the country. The government stands to gain from taxes and rates from good commercialization of this right.

“And to give the right to those who have created this work means that you are encouraging them to continue to create and add value to the cultural heritage of the country as well as the economic advancement of the country” he added

However, the Senior Special Assistant to Ogun State Governor on Trade, Mrs Sola Arobieke suggested that considering the lack of awareness as discovered, there is a need for collaboration between government and private sector organisations to identify and develop viable solution frameworks.

She noted that the SMEs must understand the process and how best to protect their IP. She also called for law reforms to enhance IP protection.

That is also as UK-based, Fractional IP founder, Mr. Akeem Famuyiwa, said all the laws of IP should be revisited and taken care of through technological advancement.

He argued that technology has now provided enough tools to tackle IP infringements.

Vanguard News Nigeria