FG Renews Commitment to Intellectual Property Development in Nigeria

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Thursday, February 11, 2021 / 1:00PM / Bukola Akinyele-Yisau for WebTV / Header Image Credit: WebTV


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To promote Intellectual Property, the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) in collaboration with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) recently hosted a webinar on "Towards Building a Stronger Innovation Ecosystem by Enhancing Intellectual Property".  The Webinar featured key participants from countries in the OIC. 

 

Representing Nigeria Dr. Adamu Tandama of the Ministry of Science and Technology, gave a presentation on "Developing Initiatives to Promotes/Strengthen the IP Services Infrastructure in Developing Countries."

 

According to Tandama, the federal ministry of science and technology is the only ministry in Nigeria in charge of science and technology promotion in the country. It also interacts with other agencies on matters concerning Science and Technology.

 

Speaking on IP Services and Infrastructure, he said under the current administration of Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, the science and technology minister, some projects have been initiated including the following:

  • Science, Technology, and Innovation Roadmap 2030 - This seeks to enhance and bring about the importance of IP in whatever we are doing.
  • Presidential Executive Order 5- This will give preference to Nigerian professionals in every contract within the country. 
  • National Strategies for Competitiveness in Raw Materials and Product development


Speaking further on the achievement of the ministry, Dr. Adamu said it had aligned 18 agencies who were working to implement its policies.

 

He said the ministry was working towards achieving the following:

  • Facilitate the Innovation and Prototype development through Presidential Standing Committee on Innovation Invention 
  • Supporting the establishment of IP centres in Tertiary Institutions
  • Entering into Bilateral/Multilateral Agreements for Science and Technology Development  


One of the 18 agencies under the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology is the National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP). The office is charged with regulating the transfer of foreign technology to Nigeria and also the promotion of locally generated Technologies and the development of Intellectual Property. 

 

He highlighted the need to strengthen IP structures such as robust and vibrant activities, high patent turnover, technological competencies, sustainable home-grown solutions, and wealth creation.  

 

Also, in promoting or strengthening the IP services infrastructure, he said there was a need for provisions of the state-of-the-art Laboratories for the conduct of research, provision of modern ICT equipment, availability of higher broadband versions, quick and less cumbersome access to finance, and robust National IP Policy. 

 

On the side of the current Nigerian initiatives in IP infrastructure, he said the Federal government of Nigeria has many initiatives in place to promote IP Infrastructures: 

  • Physical Infrastructures- The physical Infrastructure is for Tertiary, Military, specialized institutions, and Research Institutes. He said physical infrastructure brings IP creators and researchers.
  • Information Infrastructures-IP database and digital information
  • Technology Infrastructures- it is vital to look into technology infrastructure as ICT is playing a big role in all our activities. Galaxy Backbone, AI, IP centers network, and NOTAP for Technology transfer.
  • Legal Framework- Patent Registry, Trademark Registry, and copyright Commission for IP Protection
  • Business Support Services- the government has also established Executive Order number 5, NBTI, and NOTAP for IP promotion and also
  • Finance Infrastructures-GIFMIS and IPSAS accounting system for transparency


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According to him, the Federal Ministry through the National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP) has established 55 intellectual Property and Technology Transfer Offices (IPTTOs) in:

  • Federal Universities-25
  • State Universities-10
  • Private Universities-2
  • Polytechnic- 4
  • Research Institutes-10
  • Military Institutions-3
  • Teaching Hospitals-1  

 

On the impact of the initiative, Dr. Adamu concluded that the establishment of the IPTTOs has made Nigerian institutions obtain more patents through NOTAP over the years: In 2015-6 Patents, 2016-16 Patents, 2017- 50 Patents, 2018-55 Patents, and 2019-57 Patents.

 

He said the challenges of strengthening Intellectual Property(IP) Structures in the country include:

  • Lack of continuity of government Projects
  • Sustainability
  • Absence of National IP Policy
  • Economic Recession 
  • Brain Drain Syndrome
  • Limited private partners
  • Unwilling Foreign Partners

 

From his presentation, he said the initiatives to promote/ strengthen the IP services depend on the interest of IP by the Government.  According to him, the Nigerian government is interested in Intellectual Property development. He added that most of the support of IP comes from the Government in form of: 

  • Research Laboratories  
  • Finances and
  • ICT Infrastructures.  While the private sector is yet to key into the initiative. 


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