90% of the innovations presently driving the Nigerian economy, according to the National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP), are imported.
Nigeria should support and develop local innovations, according to Dr. DanAzumi Mohammed Ibrahim, the Director-General of NOTAP, who expressed displeasure at this development.
The DG lamented the situation and noted that the tide must be turned back in order to preserve the nation’s limited foreign currency while speaking during a One-Day Patentees Forum in Bauchi organized by the agency for researchers, inventors, and innovators.
He emphasized that Nigeria must not fall behind as the globe quickly transitioned from a resource-based economy to a knowledge-based one.
The NOTAP DG stated that the forum was organized to provide the necessary 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 centers are moved to the market as products and services, despite admitting that the numerous efforts made by Nigerian researchers, inventors, and innovators do not translate into products and services.
Ibrahm claimed that NOTAP’s regulatory role of registering and overseeing technology transfer agreements has prevented about N79.6 billion from leaving the country’s borders as a result of capital flight.
Various programs and policies, such as the Local Vendor Policy, NOTAP-Industry Technology Transfer Fellowship (NITTF), and the Upgrade of Chemical Laboratories in Institutions of Higher Learning/Research Institutes, he claimed, were used to accomplish this in an effort to promote the development of indigenous skills in Science, Technology, and Innovation (STI).
Ibrahim emphasized that NOTAP has over the years assisted them to do that for free and as a result, 65% of recent patents acquired by Nigerian researchers and inventors came through NOTAP’s intervention. He noted that researchers, inventors, and innovators need to protect their intellectual assets through patenting.
Without investments in research, science, technology, and innovation, according to Prof. Mohammed Abdulazeez, Vice-Chancellor of Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University (ATBU) Bauchi and Prof. Fatima Sawa, Director of Research, Innovation, and Development at ATBU, Nigeria cannot make any significant progress.
She praised NOTAP for organizing the forum, stating that it will aid in the country’s technological advancement and emphasizing the fact that nobody will develop our country. He contends that Nigerians ought to support NOTAP’s patriotic efforts to promote the culture of science, technology, and innovation (STI) in order to foster the country’s urgent socioeconomic development.
She thanked NOTAP for creating the Intellectual Property Technology Transfer Office (IPTTO) in ATBU and for the DG’s participation in the workshop on research funding for universities in the North East that was organized by the organization. She also noted that these actions have improved the quality and output of research work in the institutions in the area, resulting in an increase in concept paper notes by ATBU researchers from six last year to 32 this year.
Sani Tahir Hamid, the director general of the Bauchi Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture, stated that while many of the chamber’s members have built successful businesses, money is a major obstacle.
He applauded NOTAP for setting up the forum, which he was confident will address important problems encountered by researchers and business owners when securing and monetizing their research outputs.