The National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP) has taken decisive steps to strengthen the Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) of Nigerian inventors and innovators, aiming to amplify their capacity in developing products and services that will contribute significantly to the nation’s economy.
In pursuit of this objective, NOTAP organised an awareness and capacity-building workshop on Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) for inventors, innovators and researchers in Abuja on Tuesday, centred around the theme “Protecting and Commercialising R&D Results for Nigeria’s STI Growth”.
During the workshop, the permanent secretary of the Ministry of Science Technology and Innovation, Mrs. Monilola Udoh delivered the keynote address and emphasised the urgent need to address the prevalent “low limited culture of IPRs” in Nigeria. She stressed that the workshop was crucial in providing researchers and inventors in the country with an opportunity to explore the invaluable benefits derived from IPRs. In a world driven by a knowledge economy, the Permanent Secretary stated, “We must preserve our intellectual property and leverage this knowledge to bolster our economy”.
The director-general of NOTAP, Dr. DanAzumi Ibrahim presented on the challenges facing intellectual property in Nigeria. He lamented the nation’s excessive reliance on imported technology, which incurs substantial costs. Ibrahim highlighted that over 90 per cent of the technologies fueling Nigeria’s economy originate from other countries, spanning various sectors such as transportation and manufacturing. He emphasised the importance of developing Nigeria’s own IPRs to reduce this dependence on imported technology, which is ultimately rooted in the knowledge and research and development efforts of other nations.
While acknowledging the weak state of research and development in Nigeria due to insufficient funding, Ibrahim emphasised that NOTAP is working towards bridging this gap by regulating the influx of foreign technology while simultaneously encouraging and promoting locally generated technology. Despite the limitations in funding, he acknowledged that innovation and inventions do emerge from the Nigerian system. NOTAP strives to guide inventors through the process of protecting their intellectual property, as safeguarding it increases the likelihood of successful commercialisation by the private sector.
“We must enlighten Nigerian inventors on how they can utilise their intellectual property to generate revenue for the country,” Ibrahim asserted. He further called for collaboration between intellectuals and private industry experts who possess the necessary investment resources to commercialize research products and enhance the Nigerian economy, ultimately earning valuable foreign exchange for the country.
The workshop garnered participation from experts representing diverse science and technology backgrounds. They collectively stressed the importance of consistent funding and policy coherence to position Nigeria competitively on the global technology stage. By prioritising the strengthening of Intellectual Property Rights and fostering innovation, Nigeria can unlock its full potential and propel itself towards technological advancement and economic growth.