The Director General of the National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP), Dr DanAzumi Mohammed Ibrahim has said about 98 per cent of industries operating in Nigeria are owned by foreigners.
He made the disclosure on Tuesday while flagging off the 2022 Commemoration of African Day for Technology and Intellectual Property Rights at the Innov8 Hub, in Abuja
Ibrahim, therefore, called on African countries to embrace the culture of innovation for the sustainable economic development of the continent.
He said every September 13 was set aside for the Commemoration of African Day by the then African leaders and heads of state to arouse the latent intellectual capabilities of the African youths in Adiss-Ababa, Ethiopia.
According to him, what makes the difference between developed and developing countries was the advancement in technology.
He stressed the need for all African countries to invest more on research and development to ensure the technological advancement of the continent.
Ibrahim said: “More than 90 per cent of technology used in Nigeria is imported and there is no way a country can develop with this. Our research institutions are expected to develop research so that we can come up with alternative technology to reduce importation. But even the educational institutions that are to come up with research are not well funded.
“We must therefore improve on the funding of research. In fact, about 98 per cent of industries operating in Nigeria are foreign-based. Their interest is not to develop our country but make money and transfer it to their own countries”.
He disclosed that Nigeria has started exporting software across Africa, hence there is still a need to bring the industry and academia together.
Ibrahim regretted that the Secondary and vocational schools that were major partners in commemorating the African day with technology and innovation exhibitions are not part of the event because schools were just resuming after a long break.
He stated that while carrying out the statutory responsibility of the Office, it was observed that the culture of Intellectual Property Protection within the knowledge institutions was low, hence the need to establish Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer Offices (IPTTOs) to encourage inventive and innovative activities in the knowledge establishments.
He said that prior to the establishment of IPTTOs, researchers in the Universities, polytechnics and research establishments were not interested in patenting their research and development results rather they publish their inventions for the purposes of career progression.
He said that with IPTTOs in place in the universities, the situation has changed.
In his brief presentation, the Head of Programmes of Innova8 hub, Dr Obichi Obiajunwa said that Innova8 hub is a private owned facility and a non-profit innovations-driven organization with the mandate to groom a generation of innovators, inventors and researchers for national development.
He further stated that Innov8 is a focal point for innovation start-ups, incubation, technology transfer knowledge and skill impartation, prototypes development and fabrication. He added that the organization strategically assist organizations and individuals seeking to transfer their ideas into initiatives, and inventions into solutions.
He expressed appreciation for the partnership that has dovetailed into hosting of the African Day for Technology and Intellectual Property Rights in their facilities.