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Africans to Leverage on NOTAP, SPRU Collaboration

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In order to bridge the gap between developed and developing countries like Nigeria, there is need for a strategic and sustained collaboration between the developed and developing countries so as not be left behind in the forthcoming Industrial revolution.

Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, Honourable Minister of Science and Technology, while declaring open a two day Conference with the Theme “Rethinking Technology Transfer for Sustainable Development and Transformative change in Africa” organized by the National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP) in collaboration with the Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU) of the University of Sussex (UK) with support from United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

The event which drew participants from different African countries like Ghana, Uganda, Zambia and Kenya was aimed at examining the concept of Technology transfer and to what extent appropriate technologies have been transferred and domesticated into the African technology ecosystem.

Dr. Onu said Nigeria and the whole of the African continent with the array of human and material endowment have remained a dumping ground for the technology super-powers, he added that Africans should be strategic enough to acquire, assimilate and absorb technologies coming into the continent and make them indigenous technologies.

He urged the participants to see the Conference as a great avenue/enabler for the continent especially Nigeria to utilize the opportunity offered by the event to support and consolidate Mr. President’s next level agenda in Science Technology and Innovation (STI) in Nigeria.

Dr. Onu further challenged the audience not to relent on their effort towards not only making Africa technologically self sustaining, but for it to become an enviable global competitor in the technology ecosystem.

The Minister however reiterated the need for all African Countries to have a robust and operational technology transfer policies that will hitherto fast-track the assimilation and domestication of technologies being transferred in the continent. He added that it is only technology that can lift African countries from extreme poverty and also help create more jobs for the citizens.

According to him, Science Technology and Innovation (STI) are at the centre to affect other sectors like education sector which is the bedrock in which every developed country rely on.

He also stated that due to the importance attached to technology, African union gave directives to all the African countries to spend 1% of their Gross Domestic Products (GDP) in Research and Innovation but unfortunately no African country is able to meet this expectation, whereas developed countries commit 3% to 10% of their GDP to research and innovation.

Earlier in his welcome address, Dr. DanAzumi Mohammed Ibrahim, Director General of NOTAP, said the Office was establish among other things, to regulate the inflow of foreign technology into the Country through the Registration of Technology Transfer Agreement.

The Director General further stated that NOTAP register the agreement through three major perspectives; legal, economic and technical perspectives and in the event that any of this perspectives are not met, the agreement will not be registered.

He said NOTAP through the registration of technology transfer agreement realized that there was weak Intellectual Property culture in the Nigerian knowledge Institution and for a Country blessed with human intellects, the situation was unacceptable therefore NOTAP in collaboration with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in 2006 introduced the establishment of Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer Offices in some selected knowledge institutions.

He said the Office also realized that most of the multinational companies that bring Technology Transfer Agreement to NOTAP carry out laboratory analyses in their parent Countries, reasons being that there were no state-of-the-art laboratories in Nigerian Universities. He added that to change the narrative, NOTAP is collaborating with PZ Cussons plc have upgraded some laboratories in some selected knowledge institutions.

He also urged researchers to approach NOTAP for assistance in Patenting their research results free, adding that it was a strategic effort by the Office to encourage research in the country.

Dr. Ibrahim also said that the office is working hard to develop a database for Nigerian professionals for proper documentation of their areas of specialization which will form a new frontier for the nation’s technology development.


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MTN Launches ‘Visitor SIM’, Designed for Guests Coming into the Country

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MTN Nigeria has announced the introduction of its new Visitor SIM specially designed for guests travelling into the country.

The Visitor SIM comes pre-loaded with an appealing package that includes local and international call and data bundles.

This package will enable people visiting from other countries to stay connected with their friends, family and business associates on MTN’s super-fast network.

MTN VisitorSIMs are easy for inbound international visitors to acquire, activate and use, in addition to which they offer far better value than any roaming tariff.

Not available from any other operator, the service is poised to deliver convenience and the best-in-class customer experience in line with MTN’s brand promise.

According to Adekunle Adebiyi, chief sales and distribution Officer, MTN Nigeria, “The new Visitor SIMs will ensure that before setting foot outside the airport, people visiting Nigeria can plug in, reconnect – to loved ones, associates, tools and information, and begin sharing their remarkable experiences, with no concern about roaming charges.”

 

MTN Visitor SIMs are available in the arrival halls of international airports and other ports of entry.

They are valid for 14 days, which can be extended up to 30 days via MTN’s self-service menus or USSD.


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Nigeria COVID-19 Response: UNICEF, IHS Nigeria Collaborate to Contribute Medical Supplies

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United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) received the delivery of 115,800 COVID-19 test kits to support the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria. These supplies were funded by IHS Nigeria, the Nigerian subsidiary of IHS Towers.

Testing remains the mainstay of the response led by the Presidential Task Force and Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and the first step towards diagnosing the infection. Tests enable health officials to understand the COVID-19 status of an individual and link that person to care, support and treatment while contributing to the protection of families and communities.

“Testing remains a core strategy of Nigeria’s response to COVID-19. This is critical for understanding the burden of the disease on our population and targeting our response activities accordingly. The primary goal of the Nigerian Government is to control the spread of this disease.

“This donation from IHS Nigeria through UNICEF will contribute to the national stockpile of test kits managed by NCDC, and support efforts of the growing network of accredited laboratories across the country for the testing of COVID-19. We are grateful for the continued support from UNICEF, IHS Towers and other partners.” said Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, Director General, NCDC.

IHS Towers has been a strong and continuing partner of UNICEF. At the onset of the coronavirus in Nigeria in late February, IHS Nigeria provided funding to UNICEF to urgently procure essential supplies and equipment with which UNICEF supported the Government of Nigeria in its COVID-19 response.

“UNICEF is deeply appreciative of IHS Towers’ commitment to being a partner in UNICEF’s work in Nigeria. Once more, IHS has shown great generosity in supporting UNICEF’s ongoing efforts to work closely with the Government of Nigeria in the fight against COVID-19.

“I am very delighted to receive this huge contribution from IHS Towers, the benefit of which will reach many more children and their families“, said Peter Hawkins, UNICEF Country Representative.

“We are proud to have played an important role in supporting the Government and our communities where we operate to provide crucial tools needed to fight this pandemic. We understand this virus is here to stay for the foreseeable future, but are confident that with our support, and that of our other private sector colleagues, we are helping to manage and mitigate the impact of the virus in our country” said Mohamad Darwish, Chief Executive Officer of IHS Nigeria.

This recent support of essential tests makes IHS Towers the biggest private sector donor for UNICEF Nigeria’s emergency response to the COVID-19 pandemic.


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Coca-Cola, Red Cross Society Expand Fight Against COVID-19 In Nigeria

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In a bid to support the fight against the Coronavirus disease, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) along with its national society Nigerian Red Cross (NRC) has started the distribution of PPEs and risk communications efforts to the tune of N228 Million to support its COVID-19 interventions in Nigeria.

 

This is part of The Coca-Cola Foundation’s $2.5million grant to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) to support the COVID-19 pandemic within the West and Central Africa sub-regions.

The grant, which leverages the long-standing partnership between The Coca-Cola Company and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), seeks to support national efforts in the fight against the Coronavirus disease through the provision of essential medical supplies, personal protective equipment (PPE) and risk communications to impacted communities, healthcare personnel on the frontlines and treatment centres across the country.

 

Speaking on the donation, Yebeltal Getachew, managing director, Coca-Cola Nigeria Limited, explained, “The Coca-Cola System (Coca-Cola Nigeria, Nigeria Bottling Company and Chi Limited) remains committed to providing support to the communities we serve during these challenging times.

 

“By providing healthcare workers with much-needed PPEs, we are confident that this will go a long way in ensuring their safety as they remain on the frontlines of the fight against COVID-19.

 

“Coca-Cola is proud to support the Red Cross as we deliver on our purpose of making a difference across the world”. 

 

Medical supplies being donated comprise N95 respirators, surgical masks, examination gloves, face shields, medical gowns, no-touch thermometers, disposable aprons, heavy-duty rubber gloves, rubber boots, basic masks, disposable gloves, and hand sanitizers.

 

Expressing his gratitude for the donation, Abubakar Kende, secretary-general for the Nigerian Red Cross Society explained, “We have identified the facilities in urgent need of these PPEs in consultation with NCDC and the Federal Ministry of Health and will subsequently be distributed to these centres.

 

“This will ensure that treatment centres across the country are properly equipped with necessary PPEs as we continue to fight the disease”. 

IFRC seeks to directly impact the lives of over 1.4 million people in Nigeria and across other countries in West and Central Africa under this partnership. For over a century, The Coca-Cola Company and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) have sustained a rewarding partnership that has seen the rehabilitation and preservation of human lives across the world through the delivery of humanitarian aid and emergency response to communities affected by disasters.

 

 

 


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