The National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP) is set for a partnership with the Nigerian Academy of Science (NAS) in the promotion of local content to encourage economic sustainability in Nigeria.
Speaking when he received the first female president of NAS, Prof. Ekanem Braide and her delegation when they paid a courtesy visit to him at the agency’s corporate headquarters, Abuja, the director-general of NOTAP, Dr. DanAzumi Ibrahim said that the development of the country lies squarely in the hands of Nigerians, hence the need for a partnership with the professional body.
The DG said that the visit was apt and in line with the matching orders given by President Muhammadu Buhari on the implementation of Executive Order 5 which was signed into law in February 2018.
He said that the order was to ensure all procuring authorities give preference to Nigerian companies and firms in the award of contracts, in line with the Public Procurement Act 2007.
Ibrahim stated that the order prevents the Ministry of Interior from issuing expatriate visas to foreigners who intend to come to undertake jobs that Nigerians have the competencies and capacities to do. He added that Nigerian scientists and engineers are well-positioned to take advantage of the order for the economic sustainability of the country.
He further said that NOTAP had initiated several programmes that will benefit members of the academy, such as NOTAP’s intervention in patenting research and development (R&D) results and or inventions for Nigerian researchers. He urged members of NAS to submit claims of their inventions to NOTAP for assistance in patenting them free.
Also, the DG informed the visitors that the office initiated NOTAP-Industry Technology Transfer Fellowship (NITTF) designed for young, talented Nigerians who have earned their master’s degrees and desire to undertake doctorate programmes within the country.
The programme, according to him, was tailored to solve industrial challenges or research new products that will improve the market acceptability of the sponsoring companies. He added that over 25 Nigerians are currently benefiting from the programme.
Over time, he said, he realised that over 90 per cent of the technology that powers the Nigerian economy is foreign and this was unacceptable for a country desiring to be a major player in the global technology market. This highlighted the need to develop a cluster of highly skilled manpower to change the narrative.
Earlier in her speech, Braide said that the Nigerian Academy of Science (NAS) is the foremost independent, scientific body in Nigeria, established in 1977 but incorporated in 1986, to develop and advance science, technology and innovation (STI) in Nigeria.
She stated that the academy works closely with the Nigerian government to bring scientific knowledge to bear on the policies, as well as the strategic direction of the country.
A statement by NOTAP’s assistant chief information officer, Raymond Ogbu said Braide added that the academy is the third oldest in Africa and a founding member of the Network of African Science academies (NASAC).
The NAS president said that the academy has a working relationship with academies across Africa and the world, as well as other organisations and it has successfully implemented projects with many of them. As with national academies in other countries, NAS is a non-profit organisation, she said.
Braide further stated that the academy is Nigeria’s national representative on the boards of the International Science Council (ISC) and the Inter-Academy Partnership (IAP).
The academy, according to her, is currently based at the Academy House in the University of Lagos but has now acquired a land in Abuja for the construction of a new national secretariat complex.
She expressed delight at the warm welcome accorded her and the delegation by NOTAP, adding that the DG, through his presentation, had exposed the team to various activities of the office, which are also in line with the mandates of NAS.
This, she said, was good justification that the collaboration with NOTAP is no mistake.