Naira Patent Owned by Foreigners- CBN
The trademark patent right of the naira notes in circulation is owned by non-Nigerians, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has revealed.
The apex bank yesterday cited this as one of the reasons it wants to redesign the naira notes. According to the director of corporate communications of the CBN, Mr Ugochukwu Okoroafor, “it was quite shocking to us when we discovered that the patent rights of some of our notes are owned by non-Nigerians.”
Okoroafor, who spoke with financial journalists in Lagos yesterday, said it is not right or safe for a sovereign state such as Nigeria to have the patent right of its legal tender owned by a foreigner. “It is dangerous for us as a nation because they can hold us at the neck with it,” he stated.
He however noted that the patent rights of the new designs of the naira would be owned fully by Nigerians, adding that this was one of the crucial reasons the CBN wants to restructure the naira.
He further stated that, rather, the apex bank would be saving N7 billion from the printing of notes annually through its “Project Cure”, as it is cheaper to print, store and transport larger bills.
Mazi Okechukwu Unegbu, former president, Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria, said it is not the standard practice to have the patents of national currency held by foreigners. It is because Nigeria lacks the technology and trained personnel to manage its own printing. It is dangerous because if we have to get it back we will pay heavily.