Low Patent culture slows Technology Development in Nigeria –says DG-NOTAP

Nigeria’s quest to navigate into a technologically dependent nation rather than a constant consumer of foreign technology has not been actualized due to low patent culture amongst Nigerian researchers.

The Director General of the National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP), Dr. DanAzumi Mohammed Ibrahim made this statement while presenting a paper as a guest lecturer at the National Institute for Policy & Strategic Studies Kuru Jos, Plateau State recently.

He said a conscious and efficient development and utilization of research and development (R&D) results were the major distinguishing factors between developed and developing countries adding that while the developed countries engage in industrial/demand-driven research to solve human problems, developing countries engage in academic researches which are often published for the purposes of promotion without patenting.

Dr. Ibrahim reiterated that the technological development of every nation depends largely on the degree and effectiveness of research capabilities inherent in the institutions, adding that institutions with weak Intellectual Property Protection culture can hardly stimulate technological development of their nations.

“Technologies are products of human intellect and such human intellects emanate from knowledge Industries i.e. Universities, Polytechnics and Research Institutions”. He said Nigeria has 141 Universities, 77 Polytechnics and over 300 Research institutions, yet researches carried out in these institutions have not translated into global products and services. He said that the era of publish or perish is over and replaced with, patent and prosper.

The DG encouraged researchers to patent their research results before publishing them as published R&D results are already in the public domain and could be used or exploited by anyone without acknowledging the researcher.

He expressed displeasure at the level of foreign technology consumption in the country and said no nation develops with the level of over reliance on the consumption of foreign technology as is the case with Nigeria.
He said from the registration and monitoring of technology transfer agreements carried out by NOTAP, it was realized that about 90% of our financial and communication institutions are powered by foreign software.

Dr. Ibrahim therefore challenged Nigerian researchers in the tertiary Institutions where NOTAP had established Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer Offices (IPTTO) to utilize the opportunity provided by the Office.