The director-general of the National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP), Dr. DanAzumi Ibrahim has hailed the intellectual property and technology transfer offices (IPTTOs) established in various knowledge institutions across the country as having the capacity to make the country an industrialised nation if vigorously implemented.
Speaking at the commissioning ceremony of the IPTTO established by NOTAP at the Federal University Dutse, Jigawa State, he said observed that nations are rated by human capital development and no longer by mineral resources, hence NOTAP has embarked on an intellectual property awareness campaign through the establishment of IPTTOs to ensure that Nigerian researchers are well guided on their research undertakings for the benefit of the society.
NOTAP, he explained, was established to regulate the inflow of foreign technologies into the country through the registration of technology transfer agreements but is also responsible for encouraging the development of indigenous technologies.
The DG said that the programme was initiated by NOTAP in 2006 in collaboration with the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) to encourage intellectual property (IP) culture and ensure that critical and demand-driven researchers that can become commercialised inventions and innovations are carried out.
“The establishment of IPTTOs in our knowledge institutions was necessitated by the urgent need to move the nation from a consuming to a producing nation through optimal harnessing and utilisation of indigenous skills,” he revealed.
He added that in carrying out its statutory responsibilities, the office realised that the culture of intellectual property in Nigerian knowledge institutions was weak and, for a nation striving to join the league of industrialised nations, the situation was unacceptable.
The NOTAP boss stated that the difference between developed and developing nations was technology, hence the need for IP awareness creation to ensure that Nigerian researchers are fully abreast of the inherent benefits in undertaking market-driven research as against carrying out research for purposes of publication and career progression.
Ibrahim decried the low patent culture in the nation’s knowledge institutions which, according to him, was instrumental to high dependency on imported technologies.
He encouraged researchers to approach NOTAP with their research results so that the office will assist them in patenting them at no cost.
The DG further stated that Nigerian researchers are talented and have carried out numerous research but lost them through publishing and seminar presentations before patenting them.
He further stated that, in a bid to encourage researchers, NOTAP assists them in writing patent claims, filing for a patent and paying for patenting fees and only calling the researcher for collection of the patent certificate.
Earlier in his welcome address, the vice-chancellor of the university, Prof. Abdulkarim Sabo said that the establishment of an IPTTO in Federal University Dutse, Jigawa State was a testament to the fact that the school is performing well in critical research.
This, he said, was what made Malaysia’s technological sector tick.
Sabo further said that Malaysia has several innovations and technology parks that produce goods and services that add to its gross domestic product.
He hailed NOTAP’s visionary leadership programmes – especially in the area of intellectual property protection – as factors which will encourage the development of startups and translate into economic prosperity for not only the institutions but also individual researchers.
The don said that the university has carried out various research activities that have resulted in the production of food supplements and other products that can solve health challenges. He assured that production documents will be forwarded to NOTAP for evaluation for patenting.
A statement by NOTAP’s chief administrative officer, Raymond Ogbu, said Sabo encouraged the staff of the institution to take the IP training seriously, as it will help in refocusing their research [other] undertakings.