The National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP) has launched software for the establishment of a database of Nigerian professionals for the implementation of Executive Order No 5.
The presentation, which took place in Abuja yesterday, was geared to demonstrate the scope and functionalities of the software that NOTAP engaged, to give Nigerian professionals from all works of life the opportunity of navigating through the platform to get them registered.
Executive Order No 5 seeks to give preference to Nigerian professionals in the execution of government contracts and projects in science, engineering and technology to gradually develop their technical capacities to favourably compete with their foreign counterparts technically. The order aims to ensure that all procuring authorities give preference to Nigerian companies and firms in the award of contracts, in line with the Public Procurement Act 2007.
In his address, the director-general of NOTAP, Dr. DanAzumi Ibrahim, said the initiative of the Nigerian government is revolutionary and will set the nation on the path of viable and sustainable economic growth with rapid transformation using the instruments and platforms of science, technology and innovation (STI) which is key to improving local content in public procurement with science, engineering and technology components.
Based on the presidential directives, NOTAP engaged an indigenous information technology company, Cagewox Dot Net Limited, which has developed a robust central platform and database that captures, store, analyses and provides search and reporting capacities on the profile and competencies of Nigerian professionals in science, engineering and technology-related fields.
Also, DanAzumi said more than 90 per cent of technology – are products of research and development – that powers the Nigerian economy is imported. There has been seamless transfer of technology from its generation point in universities and research establishments, to industries where technology is needed to translate them into products and services.
“There is no sustainability in this and for us to acquire to become economically independent, we have to emphasise research and development that will eventually bring about technologies that will reduce dependence on imported technologies.
“We have intelligent Nigerians, experts and professionals. Unfortunately, we have been unable to bring in the experience and knowledge of these professionals to develop our country. There is no way a country will develop if it does not utilise both the human and natural resources God has endowed us with. It is in realising the absolute need for us to change the narrative that the Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, came out with Executive Order 5 which was eventually approved and signed into law on February 2, 2018. Executive Order 5 is intended to ensure that Nigerian professionals are utilised in the execution of major projects.
“Under Executive Order 5, NOTAP has been given responsibilities. Apart from registering the technology transfer agreement, and regulating the inflow of foreign technology into the country, NOTAP is also expected to develop and constantly update a robust database of Nigerian professionals. Before you implement the policy, you need to have the data of most professionals living here in Nigeria and abroad. For NOTAP to successfully execute that, we needed credible software to put on our platform so that anyone would log in to register as a professional.
“For us to do it, we believe in Nigerians and in Nigeria. Some other experts have approached us to provide us with the software, but we refused and insisted on that made by a Nigerian.
“The purpose of this meeting is to demonstrate to you the function of that software and, at the end of it, you will all agree with me that Nigerians are good. What we only need is to give them the necessary exposure and opportunities, so that they will demonstrate their capabilities and make their contributions to the development of our country.
“We believe strongly that the development of our nation is purely on us as Nigerians. We should not be under any illusion that foreigners will come develop Nigeria. No; this solely depends on us. We call on Nigerians, everybody, to play his role and, collectively, we will move our nation forward,” he added.