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90% of technologies powering Nigerian economy imported, says NOTAP

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As Nigeria saves N79.6b in technology transfer processes

The National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP) has said that 90 per cent of technologies currently powering the Nigerian economy are imported.

The Director-General of NOTAP, Dr. DanAzumi Mohammed Ibrahim, who frowned at this development, said Nigeria should encourage and develop indigenous technologies.

Speaking at a One-Day Patentees Forum in Bauchi organised by the agency for researchers, inventors and innovators, the DG decried the situation, noting that the tide must be stemmed to save the nation’s scarce foreign exchange.

He argued that the world has fast moved away from resources to a knowledge-based economy and Nigeria must not be left behind.

While admitting that the numerous efforts made by Nigerian researchers, inventors and innovators do not translate into products and services, the NOTAP DG, stated that the forum was organised to provide the needed synergy between researchers and funding institutions to create the necessary impetus that would ensure that Research & Development (R&D) outputs from the nation’s knowledge centres are moved to the market as products and services.

Ibrahm said NOTAP has through its regulatory role of registration and monitoring of technology transfer agreements, saved the nation over N79.6 billion that would have left the nation’s borders as capital flight.

According to him, this was done by various initiatives and policies such as; the Local Vendor Policy, NOTAP-Industry Technology Transfer Fellowship (NITTF) and Upgrade of Chemical Laboratories in Institutions of higher learning/research institutes in a bid to stimulate indigenous skills development in Science, Technology and Innovation (STI).

Ibrahim noted that there is need for researchers, inventors and innovators to protect their intellectual assets through patenting, stressing that NOTAP has over the years assisted them to do that free of charge and as a result 65 per cent of recent patents acquired by Nigerian researchers and inventors came through NOTAPs intervention.

The Vice-Chancellor of Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University (ATBU) Bauchi, Prof. Mohammed Abdulazeez, represented by the Director of Research, Innovation and Development ATBU, Prof. Fatima Sawa said Nigeria cannot make any meaningful progress without investment in research, science, technology and innovation.

She commended NOTAP for organising the forum noting that it will help the nation in moving forward technologically pointing out that no one will develop our nation . According to him, it, therefore, behooves on Nigerians to support the patriotic moves by NOTAP to instill the culture of Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) for much-needed socio-economic development

While appreciating NOTAP for the establishment of the Intellectual Property Technology Transfer Office (IPTTO) in ATBU and the input of the DG in the institutions organized workshop on research funding for Universities in the North East, she noted that it has enhanced the quality and output of research work in the institutions in the region leading to increase in concept paper notes by researchers in ATBU from six last year to 32 this year.

The Director General, Bauchi Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture, Sani Tahir Hamid, said there are many promising businesses developed by members of the chamber but are greatly challenged by funding.

He commended NOTAP for organizing the forum, which he believed strongly would address salient issues faced by researchers and entrepreneurs in protecting and commercializing their research outputs.