The National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP) and the African University of Science and Technology (AUST) over the weekend concluded arrangement through signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to deploy their expertise on innovation for the technological development of Nigeria and Africa.
The Acting President of AUST, Prof. Azikiwe Peter Onwualu, in the formalization visit to the Director General of NOTAP, Dr. DanAzumi Mohammed Ibrahim, said the two organizations have no option than to jointly collaborate especially on innovation to take Nigeria to its next developmental level.
Onwualu, said: “We at AUST believe that for us to succeed in all the areas of our programmes and mandate especially in the areas of innovation, we need NOTAP.This is the reasons why we came and I want to suggest that we work out the MoU immediately like doing joint research, projects and very important on innovation that we want to take to the market.”
While admitting that commercialization of research products in Nigeria has been one of the banes of Nigeria’s technological development, he urged the Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) stakeholders to move Nigeria’s research output from the laboratories to the market.
The AUST acting President, expressed optimism that with synergy from NOTAP and other relevant agencies and institutions, Nigeria is on the verge of breakthrough using STI as driver of the economy…
“Adding: “I believe that if we work together, we can use science and technology to drive development in Africa.”
He explained that the African University, will expanding its programmes to include undergraduate programmes and courses which though was not the initial aim the late South African President, Nelson Mandela and its founding fathers.
While also exuding with excitement over the collaborative gesture from AUST, the NOTAP boss, said: I’m happy that both organizations are at tandem on the to evolve a synergy that will lead to wealth and job creation for Nigeria’s teeming populace, adding: that a vibrant collaborative research and development can translate into products and services for the country.”
According to Ibrahim, innovation through partnership of institutions, industries and academia will remove the shackles of dependency of African countries on foreign countries.
Ibrahim, acknowledged that this can only emerge when stakeholders appreciate the role that STI can in bringing about a meaningful for its teeming population.
For a long time, he said, Nigeria and other African countries have long depended on foreign technologies for development, explaining that it is Nigerians that are in the best position to accelerate the development of the nation.
While expressing support that the MoU should commence immediately, he said NOTAP is mandated by the Act establishing to regulate the in-flow of foreign technologies into Nigeria with the added responsibility to encourage and promote the development of locally generated technologies.
In the course of NOTAP, assisting Nigerian entrepreneurs to streamline competent foreign technical partners according to the laws of Nigeria and CBN guidelines, he said agreement are therefore signed the two parties to avoid shortchanging Nigerians even after the deal has been negotiated.
He said: “Most times, Nigerians go outside to look for technical partners because the competencies don’t exist in our country and so in our effort not to remain under the shackles of dependency of foreigners, we ensure that within the scope of that agreement there must be area of capacity building because that is what will ensure that Nigerians are able to absorb and eventually domesticate some of these foreign technologies.”