FG to Coal City University: Protect your intellectual property, academic excellence


By Collins Azu

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, Godfrey Onyeama who gave the advice on an official working visit to the university on Saturday November 14, 2020 in Emene, Enugu, Nigeria argued that part of the reason developed nations are where they are today is as a result of royalties that accrue to them from intellectual property.

Onyeama said the application of intellectual property rights was principally responsible for the pace of the development of the several sectors of their economies, attributing sectoral developments to application of intellectual properties.

Minister Onyeama said he is elated to be part of the Uuniversity that is world-class focused, calling on the managers 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.

The minister emphasised, having listened to the university's critical areas of focused as presented to him by the Vice Chancellor, Professor Afam Icha-Ituma, the need to pursue its dream with renewed verve, vigor and enthusiasm.
Minister Onyeama, who himself was born into a family that appreciated the role of education early, stressed the importance of innovative learning and academic excellence. 
"I am very proud to be part of the fastest rising growing higher education institution in this horizon. I am happy with the idea of raising the university to become a world class citadel of learning. 
"And I am happy because I believe you will achieve it.
"It is interesting also listening to your areas of focus. 
"We have to be innovative. We need to see the budget reflecting the ideas and future of our children. 
"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 global 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 world societies  developed through intellectual property. 
"It will give me a great honour to associate with education institution".

He assured of greater collaborations with the university.

Earlier, the Vice- Chancellor of the University, Professor Afam Icha-Ituma, who presented the milestones of the university to the Minister explained that the university is in a hurry to develop.

"It proposes to achieve this by deliberately taking a departure from what generally obtains locally, especially in the areas of adopting innovative, practical teaching and learning strategies to enhance students learning experience", he said.

"The university", he stressed "further works on creating a nexus between the institution, bringing those in the industry, and integration of both 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 fact "There's a disconnect between the reality, industry and the  academic programmes curriculum in the country".
He 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 role and where the benefits of partnership are mutual”

He revealed that Coal City University recently signed various MoUs 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”.
"We deemed it necessary to partner with the Foreign Affairs Ministry to intimate you of our partnership with the American Ambassador to Nigeria on agreements with Delaware State University.

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.
 "We want to also request to work with us in any area that suits you. We have areas we want you to support. 
"You may wish to endow a prize for the best graduating students in Political Science".

He expressed hope in the strategic international partnerships, research collaborations, engagement with relevant stakeholders as a vehicle to take the young university to its desired 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 Obigbo, Deans of various Faculties and Student Affairs, staff, the students and the wider university community, were at the event.

The university also appointed the Minister as an ambassador of Coal City University.

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