Over the years, the Federal Government has taken decisive steps to grow the nation’s local technological industrial sector by emphasizing the patronage of made-in-Nigeria products to help indigenous innovators and inventors engage more in research, fine-tune their products and stop the nation from losing heavily on capital flight from the importation of foreign technologies readily available in Nigeria.
Speaking during the National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP) special day at the just concluded 2019 Technology and Innovation Expo with the theme “Science, Technology and Innovation for Economic Recovery and Sustainable Development” in Enugu State, the director-general of NOTAP, Dr DanAzumi Ibrahim said the agency had saved the country over N240 billion that would have gone out of the country as capital flight through NOTAP’s refusal to approve the importation of technologies and services that could be rendered by Nigerians.
He said most times “when Nigerian entrepreneurs enter into technology transfer agreement with their foreign counterparts, the agreements are drafted in such a way that indigenous technologists/service providers do not benefit, rather expatriates will be deployed to execute jobs that Nigerians are competent enough to handle,” adding through NOTAP’s interventions, such agreements are no longer approved unless redrafted to take care of indigenous technologists/skills.
Ibrahim said the measure was to ensure the acceleration of Nigerian’s bid towards technological revolution through an efficient assimilation and absorption of foreign technology and concerted efforts geared towards the development of indigenous skills.
NOTAP, he further pointed out, evaluates technology transfer agreement in three perspectives, legal, economic and technical perspectives. In legal perspective, the office, according to him, ensures that the provisions of the agreements are in tandem with the laws of the land and does not in any form contain unwarranted and restrictive clauses. The economic perspective is considered to ensure that the services being retendered are commensurate with the fees payable while the technical consideration is to ensure that the agreement has provision for capacity building and knowledge transfer, he added.
He informed the gathering that NOTAP had initiated other notable programmes in collaboration with the industry to ensure rapid development of science, technology and innovation (STI) such as NOTAP Industry Technology Transfer Fellowship (NITTF). This according to him is to assist Nigeria in breeding highly skilled manpower that could attract both local and international highway jobs.
The NOTAP DG reiterated that the programme was achieved through selection of first class and second-class upper division Nigerians who are passionately interested in taking teaching as a profession for a PhD academic programme in selected Nigerian Universities.
A statement by the head, public relations and protocol unit of NOTAP, Raymond Ogbu, said DanAzumi also informed the audience that in order to bridge the gap between the academia and industry, NOTAP established 43 intellectual property and technology transfer offices (IPTTOs) across Nigerian knowledge institutions. He added that the culture of intellectual property in Nigeria was weak but with the establishment of IPTTOs, the number of patents secured by Nigerian researchers have progressively increased.
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