The director-general of the National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP), Dr. DanAzumi Ibrahim, has said that the establishment of Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer Offices (IPTTOs) in Nigerian knowledge institutions will strengthen the weak intellectual property culture in Nigeria.
Speaking during the commissioning of the IPTTO at Isa Mustapha Agwa Polytechnic Lafia, Nasarawa State, Ibrahim said over 90 per cent of the technologies that power the Nigerian economy are foreign and for a country that aspires to be technologically relevant in the comity of nations, such a situation was unacceptable.
The director-general stated that knowledge is what rules the world and technology had become the global index for measuring the growth and economic sustainability of a nation. He added that the establishment of IPTTOs in tertiary institutions in Nigeria will, no doubt, stimulate demand-driven research and increase the country’s visibility.
He said inventions and innovations were major criteria for the global ranking index of knowledge establishments, adding that no Nigerian university is ranked among the top 100 universities in the world due to low innovative activities emanating from our knowledge institutions.
Ibrahim further stated that the world economic ranking index has shifted from resource to knowledge-based, hence the need for awareness creation on the importance of intellectual property protection and commercialisation of research and development (R&D) results.
He reiterated that a lot of unguided innovative activities are carried out in the Nigerian knowledge industry before the introduction of IPTTOs, adding that the office will assist in streamlining research from conventional to market-driven research for the economic development of the country.
The NOTAP boss noted that Isa Mustapha Agwai Polytechnic was strategic within the north-central zone of the country and expressed optimism that the IPTTO will be a centre for convergence of critical skills for the transmutation of inventions and innovations into tangible goods and services.
He, therefore, challenged the institution to maximise the benefits offered by the IPTTO to ensure that in the nearest possible time, it no longer depends wholly on budgetary allocation to run its activities but more on royalties accruable from their licensed inventions as is the case with similar institutions in developed countries.
Earlier in her address, the rector of the polytechnic, Dr. Justina Kotso expressed appreciation to the management of NOTAP for counting the institute worthy of hosting the IPTTO. She said that with the calibre of staff and students of the institute, the school will no sooner than later, begin to flood NOTAP with patent applications.
She noted that, before now, the polytechnic and other tertiary institutions in that state had lost more inventions and innovations, owing to a lack of knowledge to practically collate and promote the various inventive and innovative activities of the institutions. Adding that with the establishment of the IPTTO, they will be properly guided towards patenting their inventions.
A statement for the agency’s head, public relations and protocol unit, signed by Raymond Ogbu, said Kotso urged the trainees who were selected for the two-day training on the importance of IP to utilise the opportunities offered by NOTAP to become IP experts so that they will also be able to train others and become invaluable assets to themselves and the polytechnic community.