The new Permanent Secretary Federal Ministry of Science Technology and Innovation (FMSTI) Mr. James Sule has lauded the National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP) for its regulatory role of protecting the national economy through its intervention in registering and evaluating technology transfer agreements.
The Permanent Secretary gave the commendation when the Director General of NOTAP Dr. DanAzumi Mohammed Ibrahim led his management team to the ministry for a special briefing on the activities of the agency.
He said that the huge financial savings to the economy amounting to the tune of 140 billion naira which NOTAP achieved between the years 2012 to 2022 is highly commendable and therefore encouraged the agency not to rest on its oars to ensure that the nation’s economy is protected from capital flight.
Mr. Sule also applauded the Local Vendor policy instituted by NOTAP which has helped to enhance the skills of young indigenous ICT experts some of whom have developed software locally and have started exporting them to some African countries.
While commending NOTAP Management for the completion of the official corporate headquarters building project, he called for synergy amongst the various agencies under his supervision adding that there is a need to work hard to fuel innovation for the betterment of the nation’s economy.
Earlier, in a presentation to the new Permanent Secretary on the activities, programmes and challenges of NOTAP, Dr. DanAzumi Mohammed Ibrahim said NOTAP was established to regulate the inflow of foreign technology into the country and has saved about 140 billion naira that would have left the nation’s shores as a capital flight between the years 2012 to 2022.
He added that the office has also instituted the Local Vendor policy which is fully entrenched in the country and has enabled local players in the ICT sector in Nigeria to build capacity in software development adding that many of them have started exporting software to other African nations.
Dr. Ibrahim also stated that NOTAP has so far established 64 Intellectual Property Technology Transfer Offices (IPTTOs) in research and tertiary institutions across the nation in order to promote the culture of patenting their Research and Development R&D outputs.
He added that the office also assists inventors and innovators to patent their research efforts free of charge by filing and paying the fees at the Patent Registry, Federal Ministry of Trade and Investment on their behalf.
The NOTAP boss also informed the new Permanent Secretary of the NOTAP-Industry Partnerships which has led to the Upgrading of five Laboratories in some research institutions and Universities across the country, the development of the Technology Storyboard to enhance the culture of science and technology amongst children and the local dairy development project in collaboration with Friesland Campina WAMCO.
One of the collaborative efforts with Industry he stated, is the NOTAP-Industry Technology Transfer Fellowship (NITTF) in which 23 Nigerians have so far enrolled in to build their capacity in research towards solving industrial problems.
He added that NOTAP is collaborating with the Bank of Industry to ensure the commercialization of some selected research and development projects that would be beneficial for Nigerian society.
Dr. Ibrahim pointed out that some of the challenges faced by the office is the loss of experienced manpower and the lack of necessary approval and budgetary provision to employ the younger ones which may lead to succession challenges if not urgently tackled.
He also informed the new Permanent Secretary of the challenge of the lack of submission of technology transfer agreements by players in the oil and gas sector.