Nigeria needs an intellectual property policy that supports interest-free finance


Friday October 1, 2021 / 11:00 a.m. / Bukola Akinyele-Yisau for WebTV / Header image credit: WebTV

Nigeria needs an intellectual property policy that supports the growth of the uninspiring financial sector and its ecosystem as a whole. Dr Abdullahi Ishola, Senior Lecturer, Department of Islamic Law, Kwara State University, Malete made this point while discussing “Islamic Intellectual Property: Opportunities for Nigeria “.

According to him, intellectual property right refers to the legal protection granted to intellectual products by law according to the nature of their production. An instance is a book / writing on a piece of paper as proof of creative writing, and this will determine intellectual property rights such as copyright, trademark, industrial design, trade secrets and patents.

Speaking on intellectual property from an Islamic law perspective, he said that Islamic intellectual property should be understood as a separate concept, but under the property called al-Mal. He further explained that the Hanafi school of thought conceived of property as tangible objects. Many jurists believed that property could be both tangible and intangible.

He described Islamic intellectual property as any product of the mind and creativity to which Islamic law (Sharia) would grant protection by giving them enforceable rights.

This means that they are considered properties that can be owned and held, while its owner can do with them what any other owner can do with their property, such as sale, transfer, donation, endowment, heritage.

He noted that the difference between conventional and Islamic intellectual property is that Islamic intellectual property does not protect any product of the mind, unlike traditional intellectual property. Islamic intellectual property must comply with acceptable innovation in the Islamic religion and global innovation.

Speaking on intellectual property and investing in licensed trade secrets, the Islamic speaker explained that Nigeria faces many legal challenges as there is no specific law in the country on secrets. commercial. But currently, legal protection comes from the judicial approach on employers and property.

He instructed Nigerians to seize the IP opportunity, citing IsDB as a multilateral institution that has used Islamic IP in collaboration with WIPO. The IDB recently provided $ 500 million for its transformation fund.

He said that IDB’s intellectual property initiatives are aimed at innovators to develop their ideas and facilitate the commercialization of technologies among IDB member countries.

The Islamic finance industry in Nigeria has been challenged to learn from IDB initiatives to understand that Islamic intellectual property is not just a theoretical concept but can be put into practice.

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Speaking on the challenges of discovering structured pricing and its effects on intellectual property assets, the Islamic finance expert denounced that there were none around the world at the moment because he had to be made attractive through legal protection.

He said the essence of intellectual property is to make it attractive to the intellectual producer of such a product, which is done through legal protection.

Ishola noted that the Islamic finance industry in Nigeria needs to understand that the IP point of sale will most likely produce returns but will require packaging, public presentation and marketing if seriously invested. All of these are fundamental to attracting a great price on IP products.

Regarding the role of intellectual property in attracting foreign direct investment for Nigeria, he said that Islamic intellectual property is transparent. He cited the WIPO model of IsDB that can be adopted by financial sectors other than interests in partnership with intellectual property regulatory institutions such as the Nigerian Copyright Commission and the Registrar of Trademarks.

In addition, he said Nigeria should consider launching commercialized Islamic intellectual property such as halal certification and standard Islamic finance research institutes.

Examining the regulatory challenges associated with the commercialization of IP as financial assets, he said that there are no regulatory challenges in the commercialization of IP. There are some developments in Halal certification in Nigeria, and it was essential to understand the position of Sharia.

Quoting the AAIOFI Shari’ah 42 (2012) standard, he said that it recognizes that owners of intellectual property can commercialize it, also noted IFA-OIC resolution No. 43 (515): literally the production, the invention and discovery have a negotiable financial value “.

According to him, the contribution of Islamic finance to the Nigerian economy is visible, but there is potential for growth.

He said that in order to boost business growth and profitability, it is necessary to properly orient the segment of Islamic finance is not a charity but a business outlet.

Dr Ishola also noted another angle: the focus needs to shift from product development to diaper application in each industry.

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He believed this was an opportunity to develop Islamic finance products that could be marketed and ensure that investors and issuers had value for their investments.

Ishola stressed the need to invest in the intellectual production sector in Islamic finance research and the need to see it as an opportunity for the investment of Islamic funds.

For him, it wasn’t just about focusing on finance and all the other areas like Sukuk. Yet Nigeria’s Islamic finance sectors need to explore how to maximize the opportunities available in financial and intellectual production.

He cited ISRA and ISRI institutions impacting knowledge in Malaysia, taking the opportunity. In addition, he added that there is a need to commercialize trade secrets and legal reform. At the same time, regulators such as CBN, SEC, NAICOM PENCOM should develop intellectual property policy for Islamic finance industry and partner with all regulators in the country.

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