RMRDC, NOTAP initiate empowerment scheme for youths
The Raw Materials Research and Development Council (RMRDC) and National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP) have unveiled a new scheme 'catch them young' for Nigerian Secondary Schools, as part of measures to aid innovation among youths.
Specifically, collaboration between the bodies will see them pulling resources together to support young innovators in secondary schools through funding and capacity building. The move according to the agencies is designed to improve creativity and innovativeness of young Nigerians in various secondary schools.
The groups added that a larger portion of the scheme, would involve capacity building to fine tune the skills of young innovators to produce marketable products, noting that a part of the scheme would involve cash reward for promising inventors, while a system that would move bankable projects to the market would be worked out by the bodies.
Speaking at the African Day for Technology and Intellectual Rights held in Abuja recently, Director General of NOTAP, Dr. Umar Bindir, stressed that the concept was in line with the agency's mandate of producing locally generated technologies as well as commercialization of research and development results and inventions.
He said: "Technology and intellectual property systems have long been recognized to be among the foremost factors in nation building and wealth creation. Ideas and knowledge are increasingly becoming an important factor in international trade relations as codified in the trade related aspects of intellectual property under the World Trade Organization (WTO) agreement of which Nigeria is a member.
However, in today's knowledge based economy and globalized business environment, absorption of new technology has become a vital component for companies to survive through maintaining their competitive position in the market place and for any nation, technology is used as a tool to enhance national competiveness. Nations are no longer valued in terms of their population, geographical Land mass or mineral resources, but on the organic mass of knowledge in its citizenry." He explained that technology had taken a global dimension in determining the level of each nation's participation in the composition of the UN Security Council.
Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Science and Technology Hajiya Jimeta, stressed the need for new technologies for Nigeria to compete globally. She said: "The national vision is by 2020, Nigeria will become one of the 20 largest economies in the world, able to consolidate its leadership role in Africa and establish itself as a significant player in the global economic and political arena."
She said the commemoration of the African Day for Technology and Intellectual Property was an avenue to enlighten Nigerians on the urgent need to be innovative and creative.
"Technology and intellectual property rights are interrelated and interdependent, and they are twin pivot for rapid for rapid industrialization. We as Nigerians should endeavour to use these two essential tools to work towards achieving the millennium development goals and national transformation agenda," she added.