The Senate Committee on Science and Technology led by its Chairman, Prof Ajayi Boroffice on Thursday, June 5th, 2013, visited the National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP) on oversight.
After briefing the Committee on the activities of the Agency, The Director General of NOTAP, Engr, Umar Buba Bindir submitted to the Committee that the lean resources availed to the Agency over the years has been a major challenge considering the enormous activities of the Office and its relevance to the Nigerian economy.
He said the mandate of the Office is very vital to the socio-economic development of Nigeria, adding that no country can be referred to as a developed country without evolving technology based products and services evolving from her indigenous knowledge system.
Engr. Bindir informed the law makers that the Office through its foreign technology consumption regulation has saved the country over N300 Billion (three hundred billion naira) within the last four years alone, money in foreign currency that would have left the country as unnecessary capital flight. He added that though, the impact of the organization may not be immediately felt because they are mainly intangible, Nigerian entrepreneurs and indigenous companies are in full grasp of the importance of the Office as they are the direct beneficiaries of NOTAP’s regulatory roles.
He further informed the distinguished visitors that NOTAP in 2006 in collaboration with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) introduced a project for the establishment of Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer Offices (IPTTOs) in Nigerian Universities, Polytechnic and Research Institutions across the country to fast track the effectiveness of the academia and the research system to participate in industrial development of the Nation.
According to the DG, the number of IPTTOs established so far is 42 (forty two) and that NOTAP targets to extend it to all the Universities, Polytechnics and Research Institutions in the country, giving the required financial support. “I am happy to report to you distinguished Senators that patents have started coming out of those research centers and Nigerian technology is beginning to create high wage jobs in SMEs.”
The Chairman of the Committee, Distinguished Senate Ajayi Boroffice in his remarks, said their visit was to ascertain the extent of 2012/13 budget implementation and performance, and also identify areas of challenges to the Agency and see how to partner and assist the Office in actualizing its mandate more effectively.
He said the law makers will only have a full knowledge of the challenges, activities and programmes of the MDAs when they visit such agencies, adding that it was regrettable that many Nigerians do not appreciate the reasons for embarking on these critical oversight functions.
He expressed happiness over the way and manner NOTAP executed the 2012 budget and how it has lined up developmental programmes for 2013 inspit of poor budgetary allocation and commended the DG for his commitment, passion and technical abilities in running the affairs of the Agency. He added that their visit had availed the Committee the opportunity to see the challenges that confronts NOTAP in fully implementing its mandate and promised to continue to support the Agency to be stronger and more effective.
The Committee Chair further urged NOTAP to firmly invoke the relevant sections of the act establishing it and prosecutes all public or private institutions that have consistently evaded registering the foreign technologies that they transfer into Nigeria, adding that companies operating in the country cannot continue to flout the laws of the country and go scot free if they want to continue to do transparent business in Nigeria
Raymond Onyenezi Ogbu