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EU seeks partnership with Nigeria on technology development, transfers

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European Union

Importation of ‘dead’ electronics causes crisis in nation’s ecosystem
The European Union (EU) is seeking partnership with Nigeria to ensure that they develop and effectively exchange technologies.

A three-man delegation from the EU that visited the National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP) in Abuja disclosed this at the weekend.

Leader of the delegation, Augusto Gonzalez, who is the Adviser, EU Satellite Navigation Programmes of the European Commission (EC) said they visited Nigeria to partner and exchange experiences on market development opportunities to grow their global programme; as well as the Galileo and Egnos Satellite navigational signals.

He said the EU has identified Nigeria as an important hub in Africa and seeks to market Galileo and Egnos, which are a constellation of 22 satellites in space that Nigeria can take advantage of as it was available to the public free of charge and provides improved global positioning.

Gonzalez revealed that the satellites could be deployed to enhance safety in terms of disasters and emergencies and also enhance industrial development.

Satellites like the Galileo, he stressed, could be deployed for E-call technology, which can automatically trigger to call for attention in case of an accident or emergency and the distressed car or vessel located within 10 minutes.

He disclosed that the technology, which has a high accuracy service would also be useful for the proposed self-driving vehicle revolution, Smartphone GPS and precision agriculture, among others.

Receiving the delegation, NOTAP Management led by the Director General, Dr. DanAzumi Mohammed Ibrahim, expressed appreciation to the visiting delegation for identifying with NOTAP.

He said as a technology transfer regulator, NOTAP registers all contracts and or agreements having effect in Nigeria entered into, for transfer of foreign technology to Nigerian parties.

Mohammed-Ibrahim said NOTAP, as a Federal Government agency responsible for technology transfers in the country, was willing to partner with any organisation as long as it is mutually beneficial to both parties.

Likely areas of collaboration being envisaged include training of Nigerians in space technology and study tours to the EU space center by Nigerians.

Other members of the EU delegation that visited NOTAP include Dominic Hayes, the Signals and Frequency Manager and Economic Officer, EU delegation in Abuja, Ibi Ikpoki.

The delegation also visited the National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA) and the Nigerian Communications Satellite Limited (NigComsat).

In a paper titled: Developing More Vibrant Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) Regime Through Deepening The IP Culture In Nigeria at the 2018 National Higher Education Forum, Mohammed-Ibrahim said for Nigeria’s tertiary institutions to be globally competitive and carry out high-level research, they have to be adequately funded.

Meanwhile, constant importation of electronic waste into the country has been identified as the major factor for crisis in the country’s ecosystem, as majority of the imported items have been described as worthless.

This is even more worrisome as empirical studies have indisputably linked the raising prevalence of diseases such as cancer, diabetes and immuno-cardiovascular diseases to the exposure of electronic waste materials, which contain debilitating substances.

Current statistics showed that Nigeria generates 1.1million tons of e-waste annually with about 40 per cent generated in Lagos State. However, with the progress being made in the world towards achieving greater technological advancement, the need for proper and sustainable protection of electronic devices becomes pertinent.

Addressing a press conference over the weekend, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of E-Terra, Ifeanyi Ochomnogor, who affirmed that Nigeria has the best machinery on proper data destruction, said the event would showcase the company’s state-of-the-art machines for e-waste management.


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