The Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Abdulrasheed Bawa, assured the Registrar, Trademarks, Federal Ministry of Trade and Investment, Attorney Shafiu Adamu Yauri, of the commission’s willingness to collaborate with the ministry to clean up the business environment for the betterment of the country.
Bawa said, “I want to assure you that our arms are open, we will work together to ensure that the common sense that your department wants to bring to the system is reinforced through enforcement and prosecution of those who cross the line.
The EFCC boss, who spoke during a courtesy visit by the Registrar and his team to the commission, noted that trademark infringement and other intellectual property violations were the purview of the commission, adding that the anti-corruption agency will not hesitate to deal with those who cross the line.
“We need to sit down together and agree with each other to do what we need to do together to clean up our business environment for the good of our country. Issues of trademark infringement, intellectual property, copyright as well as patent rights are matters that fall within the jurisdiction of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to investigate and prosecute, of course, in conjunction with sister agencies, especially yours,” he said. .
EFCC spokesman Wilson Uwujaren said the president had reminded the Registrar of the new Prohibition of Money Laundering Act 2022 and urged him to study the legislation to understand its implications on trademark issues.
Bawa further raised the idea of setting up a joint committee that will work out the details of the proposed collaboration between the two institutions.
Speaking earlier, Registrar Attorney Yauri said the purpose of the visit was to find ways to enhance collaboration between the two agencies in addressing the contemplated money laundering issues that may arise with Nigeria’s signing of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement and effective protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights
“It is important that we have this visit because with Nigeria signing the African Continental Free Trade Agreement, the AfCFTA, the market is booming. We are no longer talking about the geographical territory of Nigeria, we are talking about a single market for Africa.
“It is very important at this beginning that we have this collaboration between us to put the perspective of the trademark registry in good shape and also to collaborate to ensure effective protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights,” Yauri said.