Experts want Nigeria to leverage productive capacity for knowledge growth
RENOWNED Economist and Lagos Business School Director, Prof. Pat Utomi, has stressed the need for the country to leverage its productive capacity for improved knowledge and economic growth.
Speaking in Lagos, at a workshop, organized by Google, supported by the African Centre for Civil Education and the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, Utomi said the world has become a global village, which is gradually giving way to global neighbourhood. According to him, in the global economy today, emerging countries should as a matter of urgency transit from becoming a consumer nation to a producing one, to avoid been left behind.
“I have expressed in many fora that very often when we say, and correctly so, that one of our greatest national endowments is the enormous human resources that abound everywhere and in every field of human enterprise, we should be referring to the knowledge, which is the creativity and innovation that is forms the fabric of those resources”, he stated.
Utomi listed four key points to the transforming the country, including identifying Nigeria’s competitive innovative strengths; reforming innovation and intellectual property system to serve as a tool for socio-economic development; strengthening our technological base because everything converges in the new information highway and strengthening national institutions to help preserve and protect national treasures.
Also, Nigeria’s former ambassador to Spain, Dr. Umunna Orjiako, who spoke on Nigeria’s Intellectual Property Policy (IPP), said Intellectual Property Rights presently contributes 33 per cent of total economic output in developing countries. “Indeed, numerous studies by scholars and international organizations have established the inextricable relationship between access to technology or knowledge-intensive goods and the economic development of nations.
Yet, Nigeria’s economic growth and development strategy continues to revolve around dependency on oil, gas and solid minerals exploitation with hardly any reference to the presumably abundant intellectual resources in a population of approximately 180 million people”, he stated.
According to him, since 1994, intellectual property has been an inescapable and increasingly pervasive feature of modern international economic relations. He said the conclusion of the World Trade Organisation’s Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS Agreement) set the international community on an ongoing heated contest over the rules that will shape market growth and facilitate transnational dominance in new fields of competitive advantage.
“While many of us were fighting over rules regarding trade in agriculture, textiles and technical assistance, representing the ‘‘old world” as it were – the developed economies whose comparative advantage had shifted from manufacturing based to information or knowledge based were devising rules to shape that future world”, he stressed.