The National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP) has said it shelved the 2021 commemoration of the African Day for Technology and Intellectual Property, owing to the ravaging Delta Variant of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The agency’s director-general, Dr. DanAzumi Ibrahim, explained that the move became necessary to protect secondary school students who are the major exhibitors at the event and per the protocols drawn up by the Presidential Committee on COVID-19. He assured that the 2022 commemoration will be adequately prepared for.
September 13 is commemorated annually all over Africa as the ‘African Day for Technology and Intellectual Property (IP)’. The commemoration complies with the resolution made by the then Organization of African Unity (OAU) – now African Union (AU) – Council of Ministers and Assembly of Heads of States and Government at Addis Ababa-Ethiopia in July 1999 to celebrate the day across the continent.
In realisation of the importance of Intellectual Property (IP) Protection to national development, Ibrahim said the Nigerian government joined other African countries in celebrating the day.
He said that the event was to arouse the latent creativity and inventive spirit of young inventors and innovators as IP is one of the ways through which rapid development of a nation can be achieved. He added that it was also to further sensitize and facilitate the domestication of technology and development of intellectual property rights (IPRs) system in African and reawaken the creative ability of the people in the continent to eradicate poverty and drive sustainable development.
He stated that no nation on earth can grow without adequate development and deployment of science, technology and innovation. NOTAP, as the agency saddled with the responsibility of promoting the inventive and innovative spirit of Nigerians, has, over the years, on behalf of the Federal Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (FMSTI), commemorated this day to demonstrate to the nation’s young people the importance of IPR to nation-building.
The NOTAP boss reiterated that technology and intellectual property system have long been recognise as foremost factors in nation-building and wealth creation.
“Ideas and knowledge are increasingly becoming veritable instruments in international trade relations as codified in the trade-related aspects of intellectual property (TRIP) under the World Trade Organization (WTO), agreements to which Nigeria is a signatory.”
He further said that NOTAP had, in the past, celebrated the day through technology exhibitions by secondary and vocational schools within and around FCT, young inventors and innovators as well as the Association of Nigerian Inventors (ANI).
A statement by Raymond Ogbu for the head of the agency’s public relations’ unit, stated that in a knowledge-based economy and global business environment, absorption of new technologies have become a veritable component for companies to survive by maintaining their competitive positions in the market.
“Nations are no longer valued in terms of their population, geographical landmass or mineral resources but on the organic mass of knowledge of its citizenry. Unless Nigeria develops the technical manpower to attract and domesticate foreign technology for our daily operations, it may be difficult for the country to meet up with the challenges of unemployment, poverty, wealth creation and youth restiveness,” he added.
He said NOTAP was working seriously in collaboration with other stakeholders to ensure rapid technological development of the nation and will continue to do that because the development of the nation rests on [the shoulders] all Nigerians.