By; MATTHEW UKACHUNWA, Lagos
Nigerian scientific community has been implored to ensure the recognition and protection of stakeholders’ intellectual property rights, as Nigeria fights infant malnutrition.
Chief Innovation Officer (CIO) of Micronutrients Laboratories Ltd., Dr. Kenny Acholonu, made the appeal specifically to stakeholders in medical, pharmaceutical and nutritional products sectors.
Acholonu said that recognition and protection of intellectual property rights will encourage interest in scientific innovation in Nigeria.
He commended Nigeria’s regulatory agencies that are pushing for enhanced utilization of patented micronutrient formulations.
This view which was expressed by the quadruple patent holder was issued in a news release titled: “Acholonu Canvasses Protection of Patents to Boost Science.”
Acholonu, the sole Nigerian patent holder for the design and technology of micronutrients powder, stated that giving due recognition and compensation for patents would spur on new scientific developments in the country.
The recognition of patent rights will increase productive intellectual capital, create high-wage jobs and high-value products, Acholonu said in the news statement released by Chido Nwakanma on 12th September 2021.
“Consequently, the promotion of sciences, engineering, technology and mathematics (STEM) leads to increased patent applications which is now a measure of industrial competitiveness,” the Micronutrient Lab chief illustrated.
According to him, patents are globally recognized as a government authority or licence conferring a right or title for a set period, especially the sole right to exclude others from making, using or selling an innovation.
Acholonu declared: “The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) keeps a count of patent applications worldwide recognized as an index of innovation and productivity.
“China led in 2019 with 1,400,661 applications or 43.4 per cent of global total, the United States filed 621,453 or 19.3 per cent and Japan filed 307,699 or 9.6 per cent.
“It is therefore imperative that countries like Nigeria should do more to recognize the few patent holders that they have and to encourage more patent applications to compete in the global economy that is now driven by more of knowledge capital and less of financial capital.”
He expressed satisfaction with the actions of Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Health, National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), and the Nigerian Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP) for their adherence to best practices and push for the expansion and growth of indigenous technology companies, such as Micronutrients Laboratories Ltd.