Why Nigeria Needs More Fair Technology Transfer Agreements

Why Nigeria Needs More Fair Technology Transfer Agreements

Written by Emeka Johnkingsley | From All Africa via SciDev

In the 1970s, Nigeria’s technology industry was largely dominated by foreign companies. To counter this trend, the government established the National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP) in 1979.

It aimed to regulate the inflow of foreign technology into Nigeria, through putting in place new policies which promote the establishment and growth of local software and innovation firms.

Yet as recently as 2006, a NOTAP study found a gap between Nigeria’s research sector and industries. “We realised that Nigerians were not converting research outputs into intellectual property, patents, trademarks, industrial designs and knowledge at the highest level,” says Umar Bindir, NOTAP’s director-general.

“The country’s know-how – the culture of creating intellectual property and protecting it as intellectual property rights as well as transferring it into industries – was very weak.”

For this reason, NOTAP has published a manual on the basic requirements and procedures for technology transfer agreements and projects to guide those involved in transferring and licensing through negotiation, registration and monitoring and in aligning those projects with the needs of the country, Bindir says. Until then, Nigerians were largely dependent on foreign expertise in high-tech fields such as computer software.

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