Thursday, 6 December 2012

OVERVIEW OF FOREIGN TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER EFFORTS IN NIGERIA (2000-2010): NOTAP’S PERSPECTIVE:


OVERVIEW OF FOREIGN TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER EFFORTS IN NIGERIA (2000-2010): NOTAP’S PERSPECTIVE:
By

Mr. Isaac M Nwaedozie
(Chief Technology Officer)
National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP)
(Federal Ministry of Science and Technology)
Federal Republic of Nigeria
Email:iscdz@yahoo.com

Being Paper Presented at an International Workshop on 



“SCIENCE  AND TECHNOLOGY DIPLOMACY FOR DEVELOPING COUNTRIES” ORGANISED BY CENTRE FOR SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY OF THE NON-ALLIED AND OTHER DEVEOPING COUNTRIES (NAM S&T CENTRE) TEHRAN-IRAN, 13-16 MAY, 2012,


 OUTLINE:
 Abstract
Introduction
Establishment of NOTAP’s/ Mandate
NOTAP Technology Transfer Efforts
Challenges
Observations
Recommendations
Conclusions
References


ABSTRACT
     Technology Transfer (TT) became the policy of the Nigeria state in 1983 with the establishment of the National Office for Industrial Property (NOIP) by Decree No 70 of 1979.Subsequently, amended by Decree 82 of 1992 leading to the change of name to National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP). In today’s knowledge based economy and globalized business environment ,absorption of new technology has become a vital component for companies to survive through maintaining their competitive position in the market place and for a nation state, technology capability is used as a tool to measure and equate national competitiveness. Ideas and knowledge are increasingly becoming an important factor in international trade relations as codified in the Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property (TRIPS) under the World Trade Organization (WTO) of which more than 60% of the developing countries are members. The rate of technology transfer is a function of many factors which varies from country to country. Nigeria’s attempt at developing the national economy in the 1970s, when crude oil was discovered focused on the establishment of infrastructure and industries utilizing assortment of foreign  technologies and these technologies many were  unsuitable and outdated. Technology Transfer is achieved  through the execution of project agreements between Nigerians and their foreign counterparts. These agreements are evaluated  in order to achieve equity, airplay and to be in conformity with the national socio-economic objectives. Approvals are based on net sales or lump sum as stipulated in the official  Guidelines implemented by NOTAP. Over dependence on foreign technologies for industrial production in Nigeria over many years is throwing a serious challenge to Nigeria’s development efforts. This paper would highlight the mandate of NOTAP in facilitation technology transfer in the last ten years. It would also note the prospects, achievements, and challenges to technology transfer and make recommendations as lessons for other developing countries.  

INTRODUCTION
Technology Transfer is the flow of applicable knowledge, skill, capability, expertise, equipment or facilities from one location to another within a specific time frame, it is closely linked to the process of industrialization.
In order words, it is a complicated process involving a matrix of cultural, socio-economic, environmental, IPRs, infrastructural, political, diplomatic  and other related factors.
There are two main dimensions of Technology Transfer Process:
Vertical :Countries of an unequal technological pedestal,(Nigeria and UK/USA/Germany/Japan)
Horizontal: Countries of equal technological pedestal (Nigeria and Ghana, Kenya)
Sectoral :From firm to firm within the country)
What is common in Nigeria is vertical patterns of technology transfer process.TT differs from Technology Acquisition(TA). In TT, the choice  and cost of technology is determined by the transferor
Major Stakeholders in TT Process:
Primary Stakeholder: The State which provides the enabling environment.
Organized Private Sector(OPS): They control the factors of production . 

The issue of technology transfer became the policy of the state in Nigeria in 1983 following the promulgation of Decree NO 70  of 1979  which established the National Office for Industrial Property(NOIP) and amended by Decree 83 of 1983 leading the change of name to National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion(NOTAP) inline  with the international obligations ,hence it changes its regulatory roles to developmental and promotional while endangering technology transfer and contributing  to national economic development

PRE NOTAP TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER ERA IN NIGERIA
Nigeria’s attempt at developing the national economy in the 70’s, when crude oil was discovered, focused mainly on the establishment of infrastructures and industries utilizing assortment of technologies. These technologies, many of which were unsuitable, outdated and obsolete and were sold at prices determined, in the majority of cases by the whims and caprices of the advanced countries under unfair contractual terms and conditions.
Nigerians lack the skill to negotiate technology transfer agreements for rapid development and therefore signed and executed technology agreements, which did not favour national interest
Such agreements contained monopoly pricing and restrictive business practices, ranging from export restrictions, discriminatory royalty rates, coercive packaging, and tie-in-clause, dealing with capital equipment, raw materials and components tied to the strings of the technology suppliers. 

Contracts were excessively long and sometimes of indefinite duration.  In addition, details of technology to be acquired were in most cases not properly stipulated in the agreement, products quantity, quality and standards were not clearly stated.  While guarantees, warranties and infringement penalties were not clearly defined in most contracts.
In most contracts, Research and Development wee non-existent while little or no attention was paid to the training of Nigerians staff, except statements of general nature, which were never implemented.  With time, it emerge that the indiscriminate import of technologies into Nigeria had resulted in high level financial out flow (capital fright), had led to haphazard patterns of development, had accentuated dependence on foreign inputs and had inhibited indigenous skill acquisition and development.
 That was the imperfect situation which characterizes the import of foreign technology into most African countries particularly, Nigeria.

ESTERBLISHMENT OF NOTAP

NOTAP formerly NOIP: Decree No 70 of 1979 .As a corporate body with a legal identity to implement the Acquisition, Promotion and Development of technology and at the same time correct certain imperfections in the acquisition of foreign technologies into the country.
In line with globalization and liberalization of the world economy, NOTAP has shifted its emphasis from regulatory and control to promotional and development roles. 
The new areas of focus are aimed at attracting foreign technologies and investment as well as emphasizing local manpower development with a view to strengthening local technological capabilities.

NOTAP MANDATES:
Encouragement of a more efficient process for the identification and selection of foreign technology
Development of the  negotiating skills of Nigerians with a view to ensuring the   acquisition of the best contractual terms and conditions by Nigerian parties entering into any contract or agreement for  transfer of foreign technology
Provision of a more efficient process for the adaptation of imported technology

Registration of all contracts or agreements having effects in Nigeria, on the date of the coming into force of this Decree, and of all contracts and agreements hereafter entered into, for transfer of foreign technology to Nigerian parties.

Monitoring on a continuous basis of the execution of any contract or agreement registered in  pursuant to the Decree No 70 of 1979.
Commercialization of R&D Results and Inventions
Promotion of locally generated technologies
Dissemination of technology information.

NOTAP’S VISION:

To “launch Nigeria into the realm of industrialized and developed nations by enhancing the level of industrial  and technological development through the development of indigenous technology capacity, commercialization of R&D inventions, and development of efficient process for the acquisition of foreign technology and promotion of intellectual property rights”.

NOTAP’S MISSION
To “ensure the acceleration of Nigeria’s drive towards a rapid technological revolution by an efficient assimilation/absorption of foreign technology and a concerted development of indigenous technological capability through a proactive commercialization and promotion of locally motivated technologies”

NOTAP CORE PROGRAMS:
Evaluation  and  Registration of Technology Transfer Agreements
Monitoring of Technology Transfer Agreements/Contracts
Promotion of and Dissemination of Technology Information in patent Documents
Patent agency
Commercialization of locally motivated R&D Results and Inventions
Localization of project Investment profiles
Collaborative efforts/linkages with private and public section institutions
Quarterly Publication of Technical Newsletters
Creating Intellectual property Right Awareness  nationwide
Patent extermination on R&D results from both public funded projects and private initiatives.
Establishment of technology data bank for researchers. 
Promotion of strong research-industry linkage. 

NOTAP TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER EFFORTS:
Evaluation of foreign technology transfer Agreements based on;
Legal
Economic
Technology Content
Approvals are based on net sales or lump sum and it ranges between 1-5% within the first three (3) years. 

MODES TT :
Importation of capital goods
Purchase of Intellectual Property (Patents, Trademarks, Know-How, Industrial Designs etc) 
Licensing
Joint Venture Partnership
Foreign Direct Investment Projects
Turnkey Projects arrangement
Franchising



TECHONOGY AGREEMENTS REGISTERED PER INDUSTRIAL SECTOR   (1999 – 2008)


COLLABORATION TYPES IN  TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER PROCESS:
Trademarks licenses
Patent license
Know-How license
Software license
Management services
Technical Assistance or Technical Services
Consultancy



IPRs TRADE: GLOBAL POLITICS OF SCIENCE  AND TECHNOLOGY
Ideas and knowledge are increasingly becoming an important factor in international trade relations as codified in the Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property (TRIPS) under the World Trade Organization (WTO) of which more than 60% of the developing countries are members.
Current developments in the global economy have brought about the ascendancy of Intellectual Property Rights(IPRs).
In the new global economy, wealth is generated through creating and harnessing the value of knowledge

IPRs TRADE AND TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER
Friendly IPRs system facilitates technology transfer, enhances domestic R&D capacities and competences, Internationalize domestic enterprises, enhances GDP of Nations and above all encourages Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs).

It creates a veritable opportunity for the acquisition of foreign technical skills and its domestication in the local environment as well as adding value to raw materials thereby enhances national competitiveness.

Most foreign companies operating in Nigeria either in the manufacturing or banking sector uses foreign IPs in its operation and these IPs have to be registered  and approved by NOTAP  in order to be implemented in Nigeria. These IP registration come in through Registration of Patent License, Trademark  License, Know-How License, see figure below

In addition to the existing NOTAP Mandate, NOTAP was given an additional mandate through a Ministerial directive in 1998 to embark on the Commercialization of locally motivated technologies through the commercialization of research and development findings, inventions and innovations in all the Research Institutes, Universities, Polytechnics and Private Laboratories and Workshop.

TECHNOLOGY INFLOW BY SOURCES
The inflow of technology into Nigeria reflects its political history with Europe; principally the United Kingdom and Western Europe. It shows the post colonial economic link between Nigeria and Europe (Okongwu.2007)

1983-1992:UK/WEuro(70%),ASIA(17%), Others(13%)

2001-2006:UK/W Euro(59%),ASIA(31%)

2006-20011:UK/W Euro(51.83%),Asia(38.53%)




The indications are that the upsurge from Asia(mainly from India, China) will continue and the inflow from Europe will gradually  diminish to secondary importance.
This would especially so as India’s software industry has come of age and Indian companies have taken over the concessions of most strategic industries in Nigeria while the Chinese are providing major infrastructure in rail works and power sector ,see chat 4A,4B

    

COST OF TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER: NOTAP’s VIEWPOINT

Okongwu D.A(2006):The total cost of all technology inflows (royalties and other fees) excluding those for petroleum and gas technology  during the 17 years period(1990-2006) was computed to be over N400billion($3billion), $0.17billion per year .

GMD NNPC(2001):TT in Petroleum  and Gas Sector in 2001 is estimated to be $5.5billion
2000-2006:$2.72billion.
  

  





(C)  ESTABLISHED  30  IPTTOs IN 5 YEARS
    It is a mechanism established to facilitate partnership activities in the region where the tertiary/Research Institutions are located and beyond, with a view to improving regional economic potential. 

 OBJECTIVES:
To boost technology, innovations and  refocus R&D projects in the Institutions 
To facilitate patenting  of inventions emanating from the institutions
To establish business linkages between  R&D institutions and  industry 
To create technology-based SMEs from high-tech start-ups and spin-offs’ 

(D) PATENT AGENCY:
BETWEEN  1999-2011
SUBMITTED: 358 PATENT APPLICATIONS
FILED               114
PENDING         270
GRANTED         77

OTHERS:
Increased IPR Awareness   in both Sec and   Tertiary institutions in Nigeria 

Establishment  of Patent Information and Documentation Centre (PIDC)

Enhanced Technology Transfer Negotiation  skill of Nigerian entrepreneurs/transferees

CHALLENGES
Absence of Technology Transfer Policy in NEEDS Document:
Weak science and engineering infrastructure
Weak innovation systems and culture
Poor investment in R&D  activities
Low awareness of IP role in Technology development  and trade
Unstable socio-economic system
etc





  RECOMMENDATIONS
National Technology Transfer Policy
Science and technology education  at all levels
Massive strategic investment in R&Ds
Improved IP awareness in National System of Innovations(NSIs)
National and International R&D collaborations/partnerships
Provision of basic sustainable infrastructure eg energy, transportation, communication etc
Good Governance

CONCLUSIONS
Technology capacity and capability are strong dominant integrals in the formulation of global power equation. 
Non-Aligned and other Developing Countries  including Nigeria have not significantly invested in the generation of scientific knowledge that would  sustainably drive national development
In this present era of globalization and liberalization of  in the world economy, nations must be able to harness her ideas, inventions, innovations and creative works towards technological advancement and global competitiveness(UM Bindir,2012)

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