By Obas Esiedesa
The National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP) at the weekend said it has shelved planned events to mark this year’s African Day for Technology and Intellectual Property (IP) Right due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
NOTAP in a statement in Abuja said the Day which is marked annually on the 13th September would not be commemorated this year.
The Director General of NOTAP, Dr. DanAzumi Ibrahim in the statement explained that over the years, the Nigerian government in realization of the importance of Intellectual Property Protection to national development, had joined other African Countries in celebrating the day.
The commemoration, he noted, was in compliance with the resolution made by the then Organization of African Unity (OAU) now African Union (AU) Council of Ministers and Assembly of Heads of State and Governments at Addis Ababa-Ethiopia in July, 1999 to celebrate the day across the continent.
Dr Ibrahim stated that the event was to arouse the latent creativity and inventive spirit of young inventors and innovators being one of the ways through which rapid development of a nation can be assured. He added that it was also to further sensitize and facilitate the domestication of Technology and development of the Intellectual Property Right (IPRs) system in Africa and reawaken the creative ability of the people in the continent to eradicate poverty and drive sustainable development.
He further stated that no nation of the earth can grow without adequate development and deployment of science, technology and innovation. ‘NOTAP as an agency saddled with the responsibility of promoting the inventive and innovative spirit of Nigerian has over the years, on behalf of the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology (FMST), commemorated this day to demonstrate to our children and youth the importance of IPR to nation building”.
He reiterated that Technology and Intellectual Property systems have long been recognized to be among the foremost important factors in nation building and wealth creation. “Ideas and knowledge are increasingly becoming veritable instruments in international trade relations as codified in the Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property (TRIPS) under the World Trade Organization (WTO) agreement to which Nigeria is a signatory since January 1, 1995”.
He further said that NOTAP had in the past celebrated the day through technology exhibitions by secondary and Vocational schools within and around FCT, Nigerian young inventors and innovators as well as the Association of Nigerian Inventors (ANI). He said that young Nigerians have demonstrated high intellect and commitment to the development of the Nigerian innovation sector through their products.
The DG regretted that NOTAP will shelve 2020 Commemoration of African Day for Technology and Intellectual Property Rights owing to the ravaging global pandemic, Covid-19. He said because secondary schools Children are the major exhibitors at the event and in accordance with the global and Presidential Committee on Covid-19 protocols, the Office decided to shelve it and prepare adequately for 2021 Commemoration.