Director General, National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP), Dr. Danazumi Ibrahim, has advocated for huge funding of research and development (R&D) as the only panacea for the nation to become technologically independent.
Dr Danazumi made the call while speaking when he received in the audience the Director General and officials of Defence Research and Development Bureau (DRDB) who were on a courtesy visit to NOTAP headquarters in Abuja recently.
According to a press release issued by NOTAP media and public relations office, Ibrahim said over 90 percent of the technologies that power the Nigerian economy were imported and called on the nation to be strategic in her approach to tackling this anomaly.
He stressed that if research and development is affected then the future of Nigeria becoming independent in terms of sustainability would be weak. “I must say we have no option but to spend hugely on research and development so that we gain our independence and be able also to produce and sell our products to the outside world,” he emphasised.
The DG said the nation has a very weak intellectual property culture evident in the nation’s universities and research institutes and in order to change that, NOTAP in 2006 started partnering with the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) to establish Intellectual Property Technology Transfer Offices (IPTTOs) in universities to sensitise researchers on the culture of intellectual property and encourage them to file applications for patents before publishing in order to protect their inventions and innovations.
Ibrahim added that the office has so far established 45 IPTTOs across the country, some of which are in military establishments like Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT) Zaria, Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) Kaduna and Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria (DICON) Kaduna in order to harness research and development results that will lead to commercialisation.
The DG disclosed that as a result of its efforts in promoting patenting, 65 percent of the patents that came out in 2019 were through the office. He also said that due to its strict regulatory role, the office has saved over N79.3 billion naira between the years 2015 to 2019 that would have left the nations shores as capital flight.
Earlier, Director General of Defence Research and Development Bureau (DRDB), Air Vice Marshall Onyemaechi Osahor said the bureau is charged with the responsibility of co-coordinating all the activities of defence-related laboratories, initiating, conducting and coordinating research and development activities in defence and security related areas.