YOUNG INVENTORS EMERGED AT EXHIBITION TO COMMEMORATE 2015 AFRICAN DAY FOR TECHNOLOGY

Government Girls Secondary School Dutse, Bwari Area Council Abuja emerged the winning school as their invention came tops during the exhibition in commemoration of the 2015 African Day for Technology and Intellectual Property in Nigeria.

The event which took place at the exhibition arena, headquarters of the National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP) in Abuja, saw GGSS Dutse emerged the first position with their ‘Turning Waste to Wealth’ invention.

Acting Director General NOTAP Dr. Dan-Azumi Ibrahim said the event is to remind all African nations that the utilization of Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) in concert with the intellectual property in the African continent is critical and germane for African emancipation in the emerging century.

He added that the commemoration is in compliance with the resolution made by the then Organization of African Unity (OAU) now African Union (AU) Council of Ministers and Assembly of Heads of State and Governments at Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in July 1999, enjoining all African countries to use 13th September every year to arouse the latent inventive, creative and innovative spirit of Africans in order to facilitate the acceleration of technological development in the continent.

Dr. Ibrahim said NOTAP has the mandates to register all foreign technology transfer agreements having effect in Nigeria, promote the development and commercialization of locally motivated technologies as well as encourage efficient processes in intellectual capital development.

He expressed optimism that the inventions by young Nigerians exhibited during the event would be rewarded to upgrade to project and subsequently transform into commercial products and services.

Permanent Secretary Federal Ministry of Science and Technology Mrs. Winifred Oyo-Ita represented by the Director Technology Acquisition and Adaptation Dr. Adeneye Talabi said with the increasing importance of knowledge as the main engine of growth in the 21st century, the decision of African leaders to declare a day for the commemoration of the role of technology and intellectual property in achieving sustainable development is a positive stride in the quest for technological self-reliance, sustainable socio-economic and industrial development.

She stated that the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology in collaboration with its agencies have taken bold initiatives to promote technology and intellectual property culture. Some of which include the establishment of 40 Intellectual Property Technology Transfer Offices(IPTTOs) in public funded tertiary institutions and research institutes in Nigeria to encourage generation of market oriented research products.

Mrs. Oyo-Ita disclosed that between the years 1999 to July 2015, the Ministry has received 569 patent applications from indigenous researchers, filed 188 for grant of patents, with 381 pending with issues and 135 granted patents.

The Permanent Secretary said the Ministry in collaboration with NOTAP and with support of Federal and States Ministries of Education has been consistently running Intellectual Property Capacity Building Programmes in Secondary Schools aimed at developing the innovative and intellectual capacity of the Nigerian Youth.

She expressed optimism that with the laudable programmes enunciated by the Federal Government, the national vision of Nigeria to be one of the 20 largest economies in the world by the year 2020, to consolidate its leadership role in Africa and establish itself as a significant player in the global and political arena is realizable.

Goodwill messages where presented by the representatives of the Directors General of Raw Materials Research and Development Council (RMRDC) Dr.Lawal Buga, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency (SMEDAN) Engr. Abu Ozigi, National Board for Technology Incubation (NBTI)Mr. Mohammed Hassan, Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC)Mr. Bitrus Dauda, National Space Research and Development Agency(NASRDA) Dr. Obazie, Nigerian Building and Road Research Institute(NBRRI)Mr.Peter Mashem and the National Centre for Technology Management(NACETEM) Dr. Olawale Olaopa. The Registrar, Patent and Trademark Office and Director FCT Agency for Mass Education were represented by Mr.Sadiq Mohammed and Mrs. Nnabuife respectively while Agatha Akpehe represented Dr. Magnus Kpakol of Study Hall Africa (SHAFRI).

Highlight of the event was the presentation of prizes to the three best inventions by the Permanent Secretary Federal Ministry of Science and Technology who had earlier inspected the exhibition mounted by students of the participating schools.

The second and third winning inventions were, the Windmill Electricity by Government Science Technical College Area 3 Garki Abuja and Solar Three Wheeler for the Disabled by Government Science Secondary School Tudun Wada respectively.

The exhibition mounted for young Nigerians to showcase their inventions and innovations as part of the activities to mark the 2015 Africa Day for Technology and Intellectual Property attracted students from 8 Secondary and Vocational Schools within the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja.