Local content: Nigeria gains N192bn from barring foreign tech products, services

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By Gabriel Olawale

DIRECTOR General, National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion, NOTAP, Dr. DanAzumi Mohammed Ibrahim, has disclosed that the agency has saved Nigeria N192bn in six years and secured about 38 patents for agencies and private researchers in six months of 2017. NOTAP is one of the 17 agencies under the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology established to regulate the inflow of technology in the country.

Ibrahim who made the revelation during a media briefing at the agency’s Liaison Office in Lagos, said, “In carrying out our statutory function of registration of Technology Transfer Agreement, NOTAP has saved the country N192bn between 2010 and 2016.

“This sum, if not for NOTAP’s intervention, would have left the country in capital flight. The agency achieved this through a refusal to approve importation of technologies, as well as services that could be rendered by Nigerians.”

Explaining how the agency operates, Ibrahim said, “The law establishing NOTAP has no room for sanctions. We often rely on certificate denials as a means to check erring companies and individuals.

However, the agency is working with the National Assembly to review the law which established it in order to empower NOTAP to sanction and where necessary prosecute anyone or companies that chose to be clever and bypass the agency to bring in technology without properly documented agreements for technology transfer that protects the interest of Nigerians.”

He said the agency secured 38 patent certificates in six months as part of its effort to protect intellectual property in Nigeria, adding,“The patents would encourage research linkage to the development needs of the country by ensuring that innovative ideas are protected from unlawful uses. With the level of transformation going on in the country, Nigerian banks will be powered by locally developed software in the next five years. NOTAP is also connecting Nigerian universities’ researchers with industries to ensure that researches are tailored towards proffering solutions to local problems.”

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