Technological advancement is undoubtedly one of the major drivers of economic and social development across the globe. Nevertheless, technological development cannot be achieved without innovation. Countries classified as world powers today are thriving because of the huge investment in the creative industry, which is the hub of innovation.
According to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), China’s enterprises in the creative sector grew steadily between 2011 and 2019, which contributed more to national growth.
For the sake of this article, innovation can be seen as ‘new combinations’. It may be the creation of an entirely new concept or the refinement and modification of existing ideas to meet up with challenges.
The world is currently battling with the deadly pandemic, which has reeled many economies greatly. Statistics from the World Bank has stated that a baseline global pandemic scenario sees gross domestic product fall by 2 per cent below the benchmark for the world, 2.5 per cent for developing countries, and 1.8 per cent for industrial countries.
Hence, Nigeria is in dire need of innovations on the development of a vaccine, cure as well as creative ways of minimizing the effect of the lockdown imposed across states. We can innovate our way out of this deadly pandemic today and beyond.
Undoubtedly, Nigeria is blessed with numerous natural resources which should be sufficient for the populace but those who can devote their time to think outside the box for the solutions to the problems are few. For instance, since the outbreak of the pandemic, Nigerian students have built ventilators, one of the essential equipment for the management of a severe case of COVID-19. Just a few of them.
This shows that there are potentials if innovations are employed. In this way, we can even begin exporting to other countries and this, in turn, boosts our economy.
In this regard, Intellectual Property is very paramount to achieve sustainable development and encourage innovation. This is because, in a situation where there is no Intellectual Property system to grant patent and trademark and the absence of a law that regulate it, innovators and inventors may risk losing the ownership of their ideas to plagiarists.
The copyright is a literary work such as novels, poems, plays, films, music, and other artistic works such as drawing and paintings. Industrial Property includes patents, trademarks, Industrial Designs, trade dresses, and trade secrets, etc.
For achieving a green future through innovation, the intellectual property system has a vital role to play by ensuring that the works of innovators are being protected so that they can have the assurance that they will reap all their power and resources before producing a new invention successfully. Lack of assurance to protect their works will resist them from making an effort to produce and create new things to attain a green future in Nigeria.
Tackling climate change will warrant new inventions and strategy, improvements to existing ways of doing business, and possible action to reward and recognize sustainability initiatives. Here, patents and trademark play a key role to achieve these aims and objectives.
To make it concise, the development and adoption of new technology is an essential element of any comprehensive response to global climate change. However, the first thing to solve this problem is an invention that is driven by research and development and the second step is an innovation that described the overall processes of technological change.
Also, the deadly pandemic which has crippled all social and religious activities has caused a negative effect on our economy, there’s a need for us to invent in order to discover the vaccine that will cure this deadly virus. Life scientists should use their knowledge to make research to curb this problem. Engineers should invent ventilators; Invention of machines that will make it easy to start E-learning in our Tertiary Institutions and would make us acclimatize ourselves to this period through innovation and technology.
To achieve this, there are some things that inventors and innovators should put in mind while inventing a novel thing, that’s to make new things with sustainability. The government also has a vital role by encouraging the public and stakeholders to put in place policies that tap into innovation and investment that drives towards a green future.
Furthermore, writers, poets, musicians, and performance artists are to embolden the public on the need to engage in activities for sustainability and environment-friendly future. The patent and designs registry also has a role to play to achieve this green future by granting a license to patents of inventions that are environmentally friendly. Therefore, research and development should also be encouraged through grants and policies to enable more green future innovations. This means that without the support of the intellectual property system, it would be difficult to attain a green future through innovation.
I believe there is punishment for those who violate the copyright infringement which has been clearly stated in section 20(2)(a) of the Copyright Act, CAP C28 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004. In my own opinion, I think the punishment for copyright infringement should be more severe than this if actually, we want to achieve a green future through innovation.
Plagiarists and copyright infringers are carrying out their evil acts. The legislature needs to intensify its effort to prescribe more severe punishment for copyright infringers. Nollywood industries are really suffering from this and they are losing a lot of money whereby they will compile 5 different videos into one disc and they will be selling it at a lower price which will be at the detriment of the producers.
Parents, teachers, religious leaders should encourage the youth to think wide to make an invention that will sustain this present generation up to the upcoming generation. The government also has a role to play by ensuring that they provide better incentives for youth innovators to carry out their functions effectively.
The tertiary institutions in Nigeria need to include into the curriculum the innovation and invention which will be a course that will be offering for all the students of tertiary institutions. To organize a webinar or orientation to enlighten the students to embrace innovation and put into their mind the ability to create something new which will solve the problem of this country. The budget for the education sector should be increased because Nigeria’s budget on the educational sector in the previous year would make it difficult to achieve these objectives.
The action taken by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) by creating an avenue where student writers across Nigerian tertiary institutions to give their own contributions on how we can achieve a green future through innovation is one of the ways we can achieve green future through innovation.
Public access to patent information is very paramount to the development of new technologies. Exposing the public to patent works would motivate them to think and create what will be environmentally friendly.
There is need for more patent registration when they comply with the conditions of registration i.e newness/novelty, results from inventive activity and is capable of industrial application and can be used to face global challenges such as climate change, food security and the environment which are very paramount in achieving green future.
Also, as one of the World’s fastest-growing economies, China is leading the way in investing in technologies such as solar and wind power as well as electric vehicles to improve air quality in its cities. This shows that Nigeria can also do better by emulating these developed countries on how they were able to develop their economic and environmental gains which is absolutely necessary for achieving a green future in Nigeria.
However, according to the Director-General, Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC), Dr John O. Asein said and, I quote:
“The COVID-19 pandemic that has crippled virtually all sectors and industries has exposed the fragile ecosystem of the world in which we live and reminds us of the need to use technology, creativity, and innovation in a balanced, responsible, human-friendly and sustainable manner. It shows the vulnerability of developed and developing countries alike and how the choices made in one part of the world today could affect and shape our common destiny tomorrow.”
Undisputably, many of the technologies that support the carbon-based economy have caused environmental degradation, but technology is also part of the solution. New climate-friendly technology is the key to developing solutions that support a green future.
It is in my humble submission that apart from innovation as a means to attain a green future in Nigeria, technology has also been recognized as part of the solution. This further highlights the need to intensify efforts to establish strong national innovation systems that will enable access to effective National Intellectual Property (NIP) systems that support the development and deployment of the technologies, products, and services needed to transition to green future.
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