By Obas Esiedesa
The Director General of the National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP), Dr. DanAzumi Ibrahim has advised the institution of higher learning to develop a comprehensive Intellectual Property Policy.
Ibrahim said this will strengthen the operations of Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer Offices and avoid problems associated with ownership of IP between institutions and researchers in Nigeria.
He made this recommendation during the commissioning of Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer Offices (IPTTO), in Ebonyi State University Abakaliki, Ebonyi State.
A statement by NOTAP said he was represented at the event by the Director Consultancy Services Department, Mr. Adamu Tandama.
He pointed out that a well scripted and comprehensive intellectual property and technology policy was necessary to guide the university to clearly spell out the ownership of intellectual property.
Dr. Ibrahim said NOTAP in carrying out registration of Technology Transfer Agreements which is one of its major mandates, realized that there was a very week intellectual property culture in Nigeria especially in knowledge institutions.
According to him, this situation has resulted in poor technology development of the country but the establishment of IPTTOs in knowledge institutions will trigger innovative activities in the Country.
The DG said over 90 percent of technology that powers Nigerian economy are foreign and for a country that is striving to be among the 20 strongest economies in the world, the knowledge institutions should be more innovative to turn out research and development results that can solve industrial needs.
He said for a country to develop technologically, the knowledge institutions must be abreast of the global technology needs, adding that there should be a strong and strategic linkage between the Industry and the academia for this to happen.
Dr. Ibrahim reiterated that Technologies are outputs of inventive and innovative activities and research is the primary functions of the knowledge institution but while the multinationals operating in the country depend on their mother companies for research works, Nigerian knowledge institutions carry out research for career progression and not to solve problems of the Industry.
He further stated that IPPTO is exposing the researchers to engage in research that will solve human needs and not just for academic and career progression, adding that in developed countries, there is strong linkage between the academia and industry as industry depends largely on the knowledge institution to solve their problems.
He said Nigeria has the largest knowledge infrastructure in the West African sub-region with over 156 Universities, over 126 Polytechnic, 98 Colleges of Education and more than 300 research institutions yet to give the word a global products coming from these knowledge institutions.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Vice Chancellor University, Professor Chigozie Ogbu, who was visibly happy with the Commissioning of the IPTTO, said he was very thankful to God for making it possible for the IPTTO to be established in the University.
He said the commissioning of University IPTTO in Ebonyi State University will bring a lot of positive changes in the University and urged the IPTTO coordinator to ensure an all-inclusive programme, adding that a lot of research activities are going on in the University but needed a very coordinated approach.