By Alex Enebeli
The Enugu State Government says it has set aside loans for youths who want to engage in creative work in the state.
Mr Arinze Chilo-Offiah, Special Adviser to Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi on SME Development and Investment, made the disclosure in Enugu on Monday at an event to mark the 2021 World Intellectual Property Day organized by the Nigeria Copyright Commission (NCC).
The theme for the year is ‘Intellectual Property (IP)and SMEs :Taking Your Idea to Market’.
Chiloh -Offiah said the loan was operated under its Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) Programme for the youth.
He commended NCC for finding it worthy to visit his agency and pledged to partner with them to enhance creativity in the state.
In her remarks, the NCC Director in Enugu State, Mrs Ngozi Okeke, reiterated its determination to ensure that people’s intellectual property are secured and protected in the state.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the commission visited Enugu State SMEs and the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment for partnership.
Okeke said the event was to celebrate creativity, innovation and their impacts on people’s lives as well as promote better understanding of the intellectual property.
According to her, the commission would continue to promote a culture of respect for copyright while pursuing zero- tolerance of all form of piracy in the state.
She noted that the importance of SMEs in the society could not be overemphasised.
“They are the backbone of national economies, live wires and provides goods and services to make our lives better.
“They generate employment of over 50 per cent of the workforce and generate over 40 per cent of the national income,” Okeke said.
The director explained that every business started with an idea which emanated from someone.
“The idea is transformed into tangible assets which people use to satisfy needs.
“The commission within its mandate provides protection for creative works from creation to the market and is committed to assist SMEs within its legal framework,” she said.
Responding also, the Zonal Coordinator, South East, Industry, Trade and Investment, Mrs Cordelia Nwachukwu regretted the activities of pirates in the state and urged the commission to intensify its effort to reduce it.
“We have database for people that want trademarks and we search to see if work they bring is not another’s work.
“In abroad, they respect other people’s efforts but here is a different thing; it is stealing and sin before God.”
Nwachukwu thanked the commission for their visit, describing the theme for the year as ‘apt’.
She urged the commission to ensure that authors rights were adequately protected to encourage more book writers.
The coordinator however, said the ministry would partner with the commission.
NAN reports that World Intellectual Day is an annual event celebrated every April 26.
It was established by the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) in 2000 to raise awareness on how patents, copyright and trademarks impact on lives and to celebrate creativity. (NAN)
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