The Director-General Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC), Mr. Afam Ezekude has commended the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) WIPO for selecting Nigeria as one of the countries to benefit from its pilot project on training of Judges on intellectual Property.
Receiving a two-man team on the Implementation procedure/ Needs Assessment Mission of Mr. Mohamed Abderraouf Bdioui from the WIPO Academy Development Sector and MS. Joyce Banya from the WIPO Academy African Bureau to Nigeria at the NCC Head Quarters in Abuja, the DG noted that the proposed training project will benefit Nigeria and the entire Africa as it will further deepen the knowledge of Judges and enable them handle IP and relevant cases more effectively in Court.
The team members disclosed that the Needs Assessment Mission is a follow-up to the questionnaire earlier issued to inquire about the needs of Judges in order to include same in the module for the proposed Project on Development and IP Rights Education and Professional Training with Judicial Training Institutions in Developing and least developed countries across the globe.
They said the project, scheduled to be piloted in four countries: Nigeria, Lebanon, Costa Rica and Nepal, was initiated under the auspices of WIPO's Committee on Development and Intellectual Property (CIDP) for the period of two years.
The team also disclosed that WIPO Academy is the focal sector within WIPO responsible for coordinating the project in Nigeria, the Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) is the facilitating/focal agency for the project while the National Judicial Institute is the implementing/ counterpart agency.
Accompanied by the DG, NCC, the team visited the Administrator, National Judicial Institute (NJI), Honourable Justice R.P.I. Bozimo, who gave them a tour of the training facility of the Institute.
The DG, briefed the Administrator NJI, on the project adding that other relevant agencies to the implementation of the project in Nigeria include; Federal High Court, National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP), and the Trademarks, Patents and Design Registry of the Federal Ministry of Trade and Investment.
In her response, the Administrator appreciated WIPO and NCC's efforts at facilitating the project in Nigeria stating that IP is a grey area that most judges still require more training adding that NJI is interested in being up to date with every aspect of the IP law.
She assured that the NJI is delighted to partner with WIPO in training Judges on the administration of IP law and envisages a successful implementation of the proposed project.
Earlier during the visit the team also held meetings with the National Consultant of the Project in Nigeria, Mr. John Asein; visited the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Honourable Justice Ibrahim N. Auta and other relevant stakeholders to the project to discuss the project implementation as well as assessment of the project module content.
Speaking earlier with the relevant stakeholders, Mr Bdioui of the WIPO Academy Development Sector said the Project is aimed at entrenching a comprehensive and sustainable training for Judges on intellectual property laws.
According to him the five pillars of the project include:
- Preparation of a generic training module for training of Judges, which will be customized by the National Consultants to suit Nigerian situation.
- Training of trainers, in order to put in place a sustainable IP training that would be regular and long lasting.
- Test Training Session, to determine how the project actually works.
- Network creation, using WIPO e-learning model, which could be a closed forum for only Judges, enabling them exchange views and get answers to issues of interest from among themselves.
- Symbolic Offers from WIPO which actually are usually in the form of WIPO furnishing the NJI with relevant published books.
Mary Avoswahi Adegbile