By Orjime Moses, Abuja
The federal government has reiterated its commitment to industrial property legislature to improve and promote Nigeria‘s geographical indications (GIs).
The minister of state for Industry, Trade and Investment, Hajiya Mariam Katagum, said this in her welcome speech at the capacity building workshop themed, “Geographical Indications for the Public Sector and Policy Makers in Nigeria”, in Abuja.
The one-day workshop was organised by the IP First group and Intellectual Property Rights and Innovation in Africa (AfrIPI) with support of the European Union Intellectual Property Organisation and others.
According to her, industrial property legislation is a necessity to boost the country’s industry, trade and investment in the agricultural sector of the economy.
She said the legislation would go a long way in strengthening and promoting President Muhammadu Buhari‘s quest and desire to diversify the economy from oil to agriculture.
Likewise, the minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Muhammad Nanono, said agriculture is a vital sector of the Nigerian economy, in terms of food and nutrition, security, trade and livelihoods.
He added that it is also a key driver of the country’s economy, which contributed around 21 per cent to gross domestic product in 2019 and still mobilises 70 per cent of the active workforce.
“GIs, together with a well-functioning intellectual property rights system, will help produce a pull effect that can improve productivity and competitiveness in the agricultural sector.
“This can then be used to support sustainable food systems and, ultimately, our economic diversification efforts.
“Identifying and developing these unique products originating from different regions of the country as part of the GI initiative, will help to market these products in national and international spaces.”
Speaking, Mr Gregor Schnelder, AfriPI Deputy Team Leader and EU Representative for Geographical Indications, said Geographical Indications could be used as an agricultural tool to boost production in Africa.