Intellectual Property (IP) is the key to unleashing Nigeria’s huge potentials, not oil.

Photo source- Asia Pacific

One of the indices for determining how large an economy is is the volume of patent filing in that economy. In Nigeria, patent filing is—to say the least—poor. It is so poor that if patent filing were to be the only yardstick for determining how large an economy is, the Nigerian economy would most likely be dragging bottom place with today’s smallest economies in the world.

So how can Nigeria save itself from destroying its huge economic potentials?

The solution is simple—at least for a start. Nigeria needs to think—Nigeria must start thinking. And so should Africa.

What does it take to think? Kassim Musa Waziri, Associate Professor of Law and former Dean of the Faculty of Law, University of Abuja, provided the answer at a recent IP seminar in Lagos, ‘Whither Nigerian IP in the 21st Century?’. At the IP seminar organized by the Nigeria Bar Association’s (NBA) Section of Business Law (SBL) on intellectual property, Mr Waziri remarked: “Intellectual Property is the power to think”.

I agree. It is this IP Nigeria needs to power its thinking and think its way to becoming an economic power globally. Nigeria can start with developing for itself a long-overdue IP policy. This is the 21st century. Without an IP policy, you are a joker. IP can be Nigeria’s joker to industrialization. IP can be Africa’s joker too.

With Nigeria’s economy presently in recession, a national IP policy can help the country grow its local industries and step up innovation in both the African region and global market. This has now become a do-or-die affair.

Think IP, not oil.


  • Uneke Onyedikachi

    Being an IP enthusiast, I agree with this piece. In as much as oil has been a veritable source of economic growth, it’s just a matter of time before it dries up. However, as long as humans are alive, there’s always a cumulative ratio of incessant ideas turn innovations and considering a country like Nigeria which possesses millions of citizens, hence millions of ideas and that just sums up the power of IP in economic growth as evident in the cases of first generation countries.

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