By Peter Egwuatu
Shareholders under the aegis of Proactive Shareholders Association of Nigeria, PROSAN have raised alarm over some companies unwholesome activities with National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion, NOTAP.
The National Coordinator, PROSAN, Mr. Oderinde Taiwo, who confided in Vanguard that a company quoted on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, NSE (name withheld) has been involved in these kinds of unwholesome activities by using its foreign partners to siphon funds meant for all shareholders of the company and the country in general under the guise of technology advisory and support services.
In a statement made available to Vanguard, Taiwo said “With the coming of new regime of President Muhammadu Buhari, the local investors in Nigeria would like the presidency, Economic and Financial Crime Commission, EFCC, Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC and Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN to pay closer attention to the activities of the NOTAP because they can serve as a conduit pipe to our national economy.”
The shareholders’ group stated that they have observed that genuine companies with their foreign partners have to pay for management fees, technical fees, and support charges among others to carry on their businesses, stressing that some other dubious companies who do not have any genuine arrangements with foreign partners and ratified by shareholders are using the same means to siphon money meant for the companies.
According to the group “For example, every year some dubious companies will make claims of purchase of large amount of equipment and spare parts from the government, without proper verification by NATOP.”
To this extent, PROSAN stated “We want NOTAP operation to be closely monitored for transparency, betterment of our economy and for the protection of local investors in our quoted companies. In India, you cannot just take out a dine from that country anyhow without thorough screening unlike in our country where we have porous and inefficient system. A porous and inefficient NOTAP will result to a continous leakage of our resources if not properly checked.”
It should be noted that Nigeria requires identification of her researchers and inventors; creation of an enabling environment and to initiate strategies to protect all the stakeholders and their creative works. The Federal Government of Nigeria, in recognition and appreciation of the above facts, established the Science and Technology Ministry with its various parastatals and agencies.
The NOTAP is one of the parastatals. NOTAP’s mission and, statutory mandates include: Evaluation/Registration of Technology Transfer Agreements; Promotion of Intellectual Property; Technology Advisory and Support Services.