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Goodwill Message of The Director-General, Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC), Mr. Afam Ezekude, On The Occasion of The World Intellectual Property Day, April 26, 2013

26 April 2013

TODAY, Nigeria joins the international community in marking this year's World Intellectual Property Day, to commemorate the role of intellectual property as a tool of development and a major driver of innovation and creativity.

The theme of this year's celebration: Creativity, the Next Generation draws attention to the immense potentials of the human mind and the endless possibilities offered by creativity and innovation. It also underscores the strategic importance of the younger generation of inventors, scientists, authors, musicians, artistes, etc., to the future of mankind and the sustenance of national aspirations in our increasingly knowledge-driven world. Creativity and innovation have changed the way we live our lives, socialize or do business. The phenomenal changes cut across a wide range of human endeavour: culture, sports; education and entertainment. Recent experiences have confirmed the value of intellectual capital as an inexhaustible resource and by far the most sustainable asset that man could ever possess.

The seemingly limitless dividends of creativity have transformed the world into a global village of instant communication, courtesy of ICT and the information super highway. The emergence of self-driven, high-tech cars are no longer mere science fiction, super computers are now more intelligent and able to interact better with humans. In the field of copyright, the creative industries are witnessing revolutionary fusion of media and content and technology has changed the very definition and character of art and entertainment.

On the occasion of this year's Intellectual Property Day, the Nigerian Copyright Commission salutes the creative genius of Nigerians of different ages but particularly the indefatigable spirit of the younger ones who, through sheer determination and peer support, have brought fame and glory to this nation. They have been celebrated across the world in virtually all areas of creative endeavours: literature, music, visual arts and film. We are proud of them and sincerely believe that their contributions in the copyright sector have benefited the country immensely and helped to redefine Nigeria in the eyes of the world. Nigerians should therefore take more interest in developing the creative talents of its youths who are the creative genius of the next generation. The spirit of creativity and excellence should be inculcated in our children and they should be given all the required support to enable them realize their God-given talents and to be the best they can be in their areas of passion. Our school curriculum should be balanced in both academic learning and the sharpening of creative skills. Greater attention should be paid to extra-curricular activities in our schools and institutional support given to talent hunts at every level of education.

Convinced on the need to invest in the next generation, the Nigerian Copyright Commission will continue to partner with relevant agencies and institutions to strengthen the copyright system and give hope to our teeming creative talents. Intellectual property remains Nigeria's most valuable resource and it must be nurtured and harnessed in a responsible and sustainable manner. With the country's abundant creative talents, the nation will not only reproduce the likes of Achebe, Fela, Ogunde and Ladi Kwali, but is already at the threshold of taking creativity and innovation to the next level on a global scale.

As a nation, our children are the future and our creativity the best legacy to humanity. The Commission has initiated a comprehensive copyright reform process that is aimed at repositioning the copyright system to meet emerging challenges and guarantee that the Nigerian creative industries get value for their investments.

Everyone must join in the task of building a future where creativity and the works of the minds are respected. We must all join in strengthening the copyright system as a sustaining pillar of creativity for the next generation.

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