The Director-General of the National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion, DanAzumi Ibrahim, has said Nigeria is now exporting software across Africa, stressing the need to develop a policy to regulate the importation of software content.

Ibrahim stated this while declaring open a two-day Naija Inventor/Innovator workshop themed ‘Commercialisation of innovation/invention as a tool for Economic Diversification and Growth in the Nigerian Economy’ in Abuja.

The DG noted that developed countries are enjoying royalty because they were able to protect and commercialise their research and intellectual assets.

According to him, no country can develop without paying critical attention to innovation. He said that the agency was working with the Association of Nigerian Inventors (ANI) to sensitise people on the importance of patenting their inventions and innovations to ensure commercialisation.

Ibrahim stated that Nigerian researchers and members of ANI have demonstrated competence and desire to make their presence felt in the Nigerian market through commercialisation of their inventions and innovations.

He encouraged members of ANI to file for a patent through NOTAP to ensure that their inventions are protected.

Chief Registrar, Trademarks, Patent and Design Registry, Stella Ezenduka, in her paper titled ‘Importance of Trademarks in product Development and Marketing’, said the importance of patenting inventions and innovations cannot be overemphasised as patent gives the owner the exclusive right and monopoly to financially exploit their inventions for twenty years.

She lamented that Nigerian researchers have lost fortunes by exposing their inventions before filing for a patent, adding that copyrighting of intellectual works offers the owner the opportunity of recouping their investments in research.