The Federal Government has called on Coal City University Enugu to ensure its intellectual property is not only protected, but also guarded jealously. Foreign Affairs Minister, Geoffrey Onyeama who gave the advice while on an official working visit to the University on Saturday November 14, 2020 in Enugu argued that a key reason developed nations are where they are today is as a result of royalties that accrue to them from intellectual property. He said that the application of intellectual property rights was principally responsible for the pace of the development of the several sectors of their economies.
Minister Onyeama said he is delighted to be part of the University that is globally focused, calling on the leadership of the citadel to evolve indigenous solutions to global problems which he noted, had already begun as evidenced in the integration of entrepreneurship and employability in the school’s curriculum.
Having listened to the University’s critical areas of focus as presented to him by the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Afam Icha-Ituma, the Minister, who himself was born into a family that appreciated the role of education early, emphasized the importance of innovative learning and academic excellence.
“I am delighted to be associated with a fast-rising globally focused university in this horizon. I am happy to identify with a university that aspires to be a world-class center of learning and research that will produce well-rounded, entrepreneurial, and globally employable graduates”
“You must protect the intellectual property rights coming from your university. You are going the right direction”.
“I also admire and like the way you are developing solutions to the issues of unemployment by imbibing in your students the entrepreneurial spirit”.
“I think it is important to look at how we can develop our own way of doing things”.
“Let’s develop what we have. Intellectual property should be seriously looked into”.
“The advanced societies developed through intellectual property. I am delighted to associate with your institution”, he averred, giving assurances of greater collaborations with the University”.
Earlier, the Vice- Chancellor of the University, Professor Afam Icha-Ituma, presented the milestones of the University to the Minister explaining that the university is in a hurry to develop. It proposes to achieve this by deliberately making a departure from what generally obtains locally, by adopting innovative teaching and learning strategies to enhance students learning experience. The University further works on creating a nexus between the institution, those in industry, state and non-state actors that will potentially impact positively on the teaching and learning experience of students while conducting research that addresses societal problems. According to Professor Icha-Ituma, the urgency of the move is underlined by the disconnect between industry reality and academic programmes curriculum in the country.
The Vice-Chancellor also pointed out that no modern university in any country can conduct its affairs effectively without international partners.”We are partnering with a few selected institutions, which are recognised for their academic excellence, where the ‘academic fit’ between Coal City University and the University is complementary and relevant, and where the benefits of partnership are mutual”.
He revealed that Coal City University recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Delaware State University in the United States as part of its commitment to internationalize the University. “CCU is forging innovative international partnership with Delaware State University to strengthen the international character of the University and to deliver high quality, practical, modern education for the Nigerian youths”.
The Vice-Chancellor also requested the Minister to support the University internationalization programme, institute awards for the best graduating students in the University’s Political Science, History and Diplomatic Studies programmes and to accept to serve as a Coal City University Ambassador Extraordinary. The Vice-Chancellor expressed hope that building strategic international partnerships, research collaborations, and engagement with relevant stakeholders will take the young university to great heights. “Coal City is not born great”, he said, “but will become great through partnerships with you and other stakeholders”.
The Chancellor of the University, Sir Chinedu Ani, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Dr. Sylvester Igwe, the Registrar, Mrs. Loretta Ude, the Director Academic Planning, Dr. Mathias Odigbo, Deans of Faculties and Student Affairs, staff, students and the wider university community, were at the event.
By Collins Azu