In an effort to increase local content and encourage economic sustainability in Nigeria, the National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP) has set plans in motion to collaborate with the Nigerian Academy of Science (NAS).
Speaking when he received the first female President of NAS and her delegation during a courtesy visit in his corporate headquarters, in Abuja, the Director General of NOTAP, Dr DanAzumi Mohammed Ibrahim said that the development of this Country lies squally in the hands of Nigerians, hence the need to partner a professional body like NAS.
The DG said that the visit was very apt in line with the matching orders given by Mr President on the implementation of Executive Order 5 which was signed into law in February 2018. He said that the order was to ensure that all procuring authorities shall give preference to Nigerian companies and firms in the award of contracts, in line with the public procurement act 2007.
Dr Ibrahim stated that the order prevents the Ministry of Interior from issuing expatriate visas to foreigners who intend to come to undertake jobs that Nigerians have the competencies and capacities to undertake. He added that the Nigerian Scientist and Engineers are well-positioned to take advantage of the order for the economic sustainability of the Country.
He further said that NOTAP had initiated several programmes that will benefit members of the Academy, such as NOTAP’s intervention in patenting of Research and Development (R&D) results and or inventions for Nigerian researchers. He urged members of NAS to submit claims of their inventions to NOTAP for assistance in patenting them free.
The DG informed the visitors that the Office also initiated NOTAP-Industry Technology Transfer Fellowship (NITTF). He said that the fellowship was designed for young talented Nigerians who had acquired Masters’s Degrees and are desirous of undertaking PhD programmes within the Country.
The programme according to him was tailored towards solving industrial challenges or researching on new products that will improve the market acceptability of the sponsoring companies. He added that over 25 Nigerians are currently benefiting from the programme.
The Director General further stated that in the cause of carrying out its responsibilities, he realized that over 90% of the technology that powers the Nigerian economy is foreign and for a Country that desires to be a significant player in the global technology market, the situation was unacceptable, hence the need to develop a cluster of highly skilled manpower to change the narrative.
Earlier in her speech, the President of NAS, Professor Ekanem Brande said that the Nigerian Academy of Science is the foremost independent scientific body in Nigeria, established in 1977 but incorporated in 1986 to develop and advance Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) in Nigeria.
She stated that the academy works closely with the Nigerian government to bring scientific knowledge to bear on the policies as well as the strategic direction of the Country. She added that the academy is the third oldest academy on the African continent and a founding member of the Network of African Science Academies (NASAC).
The NAS President said that the academy has a working relationship with academies across Africa and globally as well as other organizations and it has successfully implemented projects with many of them. As with national academies in other Countries, NAS is a not-for-profit organization she said.
Prof. Brande further stated that the academy is Nigeria’s national representative on such bodies as the International Science Council (ISC)-the umbrella body for all science associations and unions as well as the Inter-Academy Partnership (IAP)-the umbrella body for all national science academies on a global level.
The academy according to her is currently based at the Academy House in the University of Lagos but has now acquired land in Abuja for the construction of a new national secretariat complex.
She expressed delight at the warm welcome accorded her and the delegation by NOTAP, adding that the DG through his presentation had exposed the team to various activities of the Office which are also in-line with the mandates of NAS, adding that their seeking collaboration with NOTAP wasn’t a mistake.