As an agency of government saddled with the responsibility of tracking the inflow of technology into Nigeria, the National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP), has engaged in series of programmes aimed at improving local content in order to advance the economy. BINTA SHAMA reports.
In this era of globalisation and liberalisation in the world economy, every nation that desires a positive change or results, must be able to harness its ideas, inventions, innovations and creative works towards technological advancement and global competitiveness.
For the National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP), the need “To nurture national talents requires identification of its researchers and inventors; creation of an enabling environment and to initiate strategies to protect all the stakeholders and their creative works. The Federal Government of Nigeria, in recognition and appreciation of the above facts, established Federal Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation with its various parastatals and agencies to carry out such activities”, becomes its focus.
As an agency of under the ministry, it was established to respond to Nigeria’s need to facilitate the emergence of a strong Science, Technology and Innovation (STI), system reflective of the desire to evolve a strong economy based on Science and Technology. Specifically, NOTAP aims to systematically track the inflow of technology into the country, strategize for its adaptation and domestication. The organisation is also responsible for coordinating Nigeria’s initiatives in technology transfer; evaluation and registration of technology transfer agreements; promotion of innovation, patenting & intellectual property; technology advisory and support services; commercialization of R&D results; research-industry linkage; production of compendium management information system; publication of project profiles on R&D results; promotion and popularization of S&T training and capacity building in schools and tertiary Institutions; promoting industry driven R&D’s in tertiary institutions and research institutions, etc. NOTAP serves as a functional bridge in sustaining the link between the research community and industry, thus making it a strong anchor for stimulating national development.
To this end, NOTAP is mandated with the powers to carry out the following: Evaluation/Registration of Technology Transfer Agreements; Promotion of Intellectual Property; Technology Advisory and Support Services; Commercialization of R& D Results; Research Industry Linkage; Maintenance of a Compendium on R&D activities in the country; Production and Publication of Industrial Project Profiles on SMEs, etc. It is my humble belief that NOTAP, through its current and future activities, backed with dedicated and efficient personnel, adequate Government support and funding, would take this country to greater heights scientifically and technologically.
Partnerships with FrieslandCampina Wamco
In order to achieve its mandate, NOTAP continues to partners with various organisation as it strives to increase local content in production and above all, move Nigeria’s economy forward.
Speaking at a one-day sensitization workshop on Dairy Development Project, held recently in Bayero University Kano (BUK) for the North Western region, the Director-General of NOTAP, Dr. DanAzimi Mohammed Ibrahim, said in line with the policy of his organisation on local content promotion for acceleration of Nigeria’s technology development, decided to collaborate with the company to increase local content in dairy production in Nigeria.
Represented by the Director, Consultancy Services Department in the agency, Dr. Adamu Tandama, the Direcor General said that the partnership was necessitated by the need to align with government’s directive on local content development. “The Dairy project was introduced as a result of collaboration between the Office and FrieslandCampina Wamco Nigeria Plc on how local value additions to milk produced in Nigeria and as well ensure availability of milk for our teeming population. Nigeria has large number of cows roaming about but produces little quantity of milk whereas some developed countries such as Netherlands and Vietnam with high technology on dairy project have small number of cows but produce large quantity of milk.
“FrieslandCampina Wamco Plc, has been operating in Nigeria for over six decades, yet the technology responsible for quality and high milk yield still resides in their parent company. In order to ensure technology transfer in dairy industry, the Office in 2013 opened discussion with Friesland Campina Wamco to establish mini milk collection centers in Ibadan, Oyo state. The company, built a settlement for the Fulani herders, ranched their cows and introduced them to the global best practices in growing cows and milking processes which has turned to a lucrative business.
Global dairy programme
“The company has built a very successful global dairy programme and Nigeria has the potential to do well in dairy development if well managed. With the present achievement of our partnership, every cup of milk consumed in the country today, has two percent of local content in it and we intend to work on the increase for greater supply and developed economy,” Ibrahim stated.
FrieslandCompina Wamco Plc representative, Dr. Akinade Adebayo Samson in a virtual presentation of a paper titled “Opportunities for Entrepreneurs in Dairy Value Chain” said there were huge economic benefits in diary business as entrepreneurs could make money through sale of cow milk for production of Peak milk, yoghurts, cow cheese, leather, and meat.
At the disbursement of the agency’s NOTAP industry technology transfer fellowship (NITTF) award where 41 researchers and inventors were presented with patent certificates, the Minister of State for Science, Technology and Innovation, Mohammed Hassan Abdullahi said the initiative is known for providing efficient process for the acquisition and domestication of foreign technologies as enshrined in section 40 of the NOTAP Act.
“The scheme will serve as a platform through which industries support the process of building the needed critical mass of skilled knowledge workers of technology transfer in the country. The scheme will create an impact for the federal government’s Economic Sustainability Plan where researches are translated to production activities and create jobs for youths.
“The overall importance of NOTAP is to upgrade research institutions. Allow me to use this medium to urge other industries yet to key into the NITFF scheme by sponsoring more candidates for a brighter tomorrow. As well as our patent recipients should try and make more efforts to move their Research and Development results to be available in the market, which at the end boost the nation’s overall socio-economic fortunes.”
Similarly, Dr. Ibrahim said for any economy to become independent, there is a need for capacity building.
“For any nation to become economically independent, we have to develop the necessary capacities i.e. the human resources God has given us. In the process, we realise the gap demarcated between us and developing nations and our capacity to converge our raw materials into products and services, food supply, because we don’t need importing anything into the country, export and make income from other nations.
“We can’t do it alone, the scientists are expected to come out with technologies that should be able to assist Nigeria improve on the quality of life of our citizens. It is very sad to note that, more than 90% of the technologies that power the Nigeria’s economy, are imported technologies. No nation that is aspiring to become economically independent will fold its arms and allow it economy collapse. We see the quantum amount that leaves this country as licensing fees, so inspire of our intervention, we feel the private sector and research communities have responsibilities to come together to see how we can catapult our country into economic prosperity,” he added.