Saturday, September 25, 2021

Nigeria, Tanzania To Firm Up Science, Tech, Agric Linkages

L-R: The Tanzanian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Dr. Benson Bana receiving a branded gift pack from the director-general, National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP), Dr. DanAzumi Ibrahim when Bana visited NOTAP’s headquarters in Abuja.

Nigeria and Tanzania have entered into a relationship to firm up intra-African relationships and linkages in different fields of science, technology and agriculture. 

The two countries expressed the desire to build stronger relationship in the fields of science and technology, and agriculture among others when the director-general of the National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP), Dr. DanAzumi Ibrahim received the High Commissioner of the United Republic of Tanzania to Nigeria, Dr. Alfred Bana at the agency’s headquarters in Abuja.

Ibrahim, who expressed excitement over the visit by the envoy, pointed out that African nations have a lot in common and there was therefore the need to share experiences and exchange ideas for the progress of the continent.

He said NOTAP was established by the Federal Government in 1979 to regulate the inflow of foreign technology and also promote locally motivated technologies and had between 2015 to 2019 through its regulatory role saved over N79 billion that would have left the shores of Nigeria as capital flight. He added that NOTAP has also developed numerous programmes and projects towards national development one of which was the establishment of the Intellectual Property Technology Transfer Offices (IPTTOs) in universities, polytechnics and research institutes.

The NOTAP boss explained that the concept was developed in partnership with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in 2006 to enlighten the research communities on the need to protect their intellectual property (IP), harness their competences and assist them in patenting their research and development results and inventions free of charge.

Saying NOTAP developed the programme as part of the strategy to strengthen the culture of IP in Nigeria and had so far established 58 IPTTOs, he pointed out that  as a result of the IP awareness efforts of the NOTAP, 65 per cent of all the patent certificates released by the Patent Registry in Nigeria in the year 2019 were through it.

The NOTAP DG informed the high commissioner of the agency’s efforts in linking academia to industry through the NOTAP-Industry Partnerships to ensure that research and development (R&D) translate into products and services, adding Africans should not be under any illusion that a foreigner would come and develop their nations emphasizing that the development of any nation rested squarely on the shoulders of its people.

Earlier, Bana said NOTAP’s technology transfer strategies ensured that a local component was developed to benefit the community, stressing that while in most African nations, legislation tended to follow agreements, in Nigeria, NOTAP was firm in regulating technology transfer agreements which had brought immense benefits to Nigerians.

The high commissioner revealed that his nation opened up her economy without first regulating which resulted in adverse consequences, pointing out that all the projects they embarked upon had technology transfer components but were not captured for local benefits unlike the case with Nigeria where they were all captured through NOTAP’s effective regulation.

The envoy who said the visit was to learn about NOTAP’s activities in order to link the organization with relevant institutions in his country recalled that a team from the Tanzanian Commission for Science and Technology (COSTECH) visited NOTAP in 2012 to explore areas of cooperation and spoke of the need for a follow up to identify areas of partnership and establish a functional relationship that would lead to the exchange of knowledge, skills and values for mutual benefits of both countries.

Bana added that his visit had afforded him the opportunity to learn about NOTAP’s unique programmes which he said had promoted indigenous technology development, saying he would share the experience with like-minded organizations in Tanzania especially COSTECH and the eastern Africa diplomatic block for possible partnerships.

He commended NOTAP’s strategy in linking the industry and the academia to ensure that research and development (R&D) outputs translate into products and services, adding his country would like to learn from this success story.

Bana who described Nigeria as “a big brother” said the nation (Nigeria) was blessed with valuable human resources and was a role model to other African nations.

A statement by NOTAP’s head of public relations and protocol, Solomon Nshem, said the high commissioner was accompanied on the visit by the economic affairs officer of the commission, Edna Obinyan Sylvester.

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