The director-general of the National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP), Dr. DanAzumi Ibrahim, has lauded the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) for creating Intellectual Property (IP) awareness amongst students in tertiary institutions through its national essay competition.
Ibrahim gave this commendation when he received delegates from WIPO and the 2021 National IP Essay competitors today at his office in Abuja, saying the competition has increased awareness and stimulated interest in creative writing and intellectual property ownership.
He said that technology is a product of research while research results are intellectual assets which can change the economic fortunes of the researcher if well managed. He called on the winners of the IP competition, especially those with background in the sciences, to consider taking up further studies in law to become IP attorneys.
The DG said although NOTAP was established to regulate the inflow of foreign technologies into the country through the registration of technology transfer agreements, it also reserved the duty of promoting the development of indigenous technologies.
He said, as a technology regulator, the office sees the number of foreign technologies deployed to power the Nigerian economy with the attendant huge foreign exchange occasioned by inadequate homegrown technologies. He acquiesced that most of the technology transfer agreements registered in NOTAP were software-related and urged Nigerian researchers to give more attention to software development.
Ibrahim noted that the office had been strategic in ensuring technology transfer by insisting that agreement registered in NOTAP must have the component of human capital development needed for replication and domestication of foreign technologies. He called for the strengthening of the IP culture of Nigerians through sustained advocacy and similar competitions and seminars to stimulate economic sustainability.
Earlier, the leader of the delegation, WIPO-Nigeria Office (WNO), Mr. Moody Oluwatobiloba, said NOTAP was critical to the development of IP ecosystem in Nigeria; hence their visit to also hear more about the functions and activities of the office in creating IP awareness within the Nigerian knowledge institutions.
Oluwatobiloba said that the maiden edition of the WIPO National IP Essay Competition was launched on April 26, 2020, by the WIPO Nigeria Office (WNO) as part of efforts to support student engagement and research in the field of intellectual property in Nigeria. He said building on the success of the maiden edition, the second edition of the competition was launched in celebration of the World IP Day 2021, with the theme “IP and SMEs, Taking your ideas to market”.
He stated that the essay competition invited students of tertiary institutions across Nigeria to submit essays not exceeding 1500 words on the topic “Intellectual Property, SMEs and Economic Recovery in Nigeria”.
According to him, at the time the submission of entries close, the office had got 143 entries.
A statement by Mr. Raymond Ogbu, from the agency’s press unit, said Oluwatobiloba pledged that the competition would provide an opportunity for students to research and learn more about the IP, as well as contribute to policy development in this area by exploring suggestions or ideas that could help stimulate Nigeria’s economic recovery through SMEs.