The research investigated the west and politics of technology transfer with the geographical scope being Nigeria. This research cover the challenges that Nigeria faces in terms of technology transfer, and the roles of Multinational corporations in the transfer of technology to Nigeria, and the process of technology transfer within time frame between 2006 and 2018.
The study adopted the qualitative approach using secondary data to solve the research problem. Findings revealed that technology transfer can come in form of material transfer of capacity transfer. The outcome of this study further revealed that channels of technology transfer as wholly owned foreign subsidiaries (conventional form of foreign direct investment), joint ventures, foreign minority holdings, fading-out agreements, licensing agreements, franchising, management contracts, turnkey contracts, contractual joint ventures and international subcontracting. The study finally reviewed the politics of technology transfer to Ajaokuta steel complex, Oshogbo Machine Company, Delta Steel Company and Anambra Auto Manufacturing Company also known as ANAMCO. It also analyzed the politics of technology transfer of Peugeot, Volkswagen, Coca Coca and Leyland Limited to Nigeria.
Conclusively, this study as revealed that the west and politics of technology transfer acquisition does not equate with assimilation and integration. Base on the findings indicated to this study, it is therefore recommended among others that Federal government of Nigeria should show commitment to agreements and treaties with a view of maximizing the technology transferred towards the country’s growth; Government needs to look into policies that are weakening the production capacity of the companies with a view of creating sustainable environment of the transferred business; The government should create a system that will effectively integrate the technology being transferred.
1.1 Background to the Study
Technology Transfer which is also known as Transfer of Technology means the process of transferring technology from its locations of origin to other people and locations. It is one of the oldest forms of economic transactions. Various forms of technology transfer were largely involved in the development of Imperial China, Renaissance-era growth in Western European city-states, and the economic expansion of North America in the 19th century (CDIP, 2014).
Technology transfer is one of the major determining factors in the economic growth of newly industrializing countries. It is important in both developed and developing countries. All over the world, the effects of technology specifically Information Technology are noticeable in all aspects of life but in developing countries such as Nigeria, the impact of it is yet to be felt to any appreciable extent and because of this the need for technology and the awareness of it is very high (Akinlade, 2010). The globalization of markets and the importance that is placed on technology in services and the industry places emphasis on the need for the government to consider and get involved in technology transfer.
Politics can be defined as the collective decision making or policy making coming to the whole society. It refers to achieving and exercising positions of governance organized control over a human community, particularly a state (Wilda, 2014). Politics are the activities aimed at improving someone's status or increasing power within an organization or a state. Therefore, to determine an appropriate strategy for economic development in Nigeria, there is a need to determine the process of technology transfer from the west to Nigeria and the necessary conditions put in place by the west for the transfer of technology.
It is pertinent to assert that the relevance of international technology transfer for economic development can hardly be overemphasized. The problem of technology transfers to the less developed countries and developing countries has been invariably attributed to the lack of necessary capital, technical knowledge and the experiences in entrepreneurial managements and skills. One of the major ways to help improve the economic growth and standard of living of the less developed countries, such as Nigeria, is the effective transfer of genuine and well functional technology.
Most developing countries have long sought to achieve this through the use of both national policies and international agreements to stimulate international transfer of technology. Technology transfer can be achieved through the transformation of the lives of the people through genuine transfer of skills and knowledge from the developed countries (Madu, 1992). By developed countries we mean the west or the western world known or used with the term, first world or developed countries, with multinational corporations which is often considered as a visible sign of western nations presence especially in third world countries (Jackson, 2016). To have successful technology transfer, there must be high ambition from the recipient country just as the developed countries did during industrial revolution and this, in turn, will enable the recipients to engage themselves in the task of eliminating the problems facing the technological advancement.
The transfer of technology is a complex phenomenon involving a wide variety of forms including, the classical, and perhaps the most dominant form which is the transfer by multinational corporations, in either partly or wholly owned subsidiaries or through export and import of capital goods. Although these forms of technology transfer are widely used among the developed market economies as well, they may not be particularly efficient ways of transmitting the use of modem technologies between economies at different levels of development. Some would take the view that they may widen the gap in development between exporters and importers of technology. Transferring technology from the developed to the developing countries is an obvious alternative which aids the promotion of both economic development and international peace. However, the situation is not as simple as it seems as the main obstacle is the absence of a skilled labor force. In addition, social, cultural, and political factors inhibit this transfer. Multinational corporations expedite the transfer, but they create many additional problems (Chattedi, Manas, 1990). It is therefore, difficult to regulate international transfer of technology effectively given the incentives for owners not to transfer technology without an adequate return and the problem of monitoring compliance with any rules that might be imposed. This helps explain why international transfer of technology is predominately mediated by national policies rather than by international disciplines. While some policies are subject to multilateral disciplines (e.g., subsidies, trade and IPR policies), the rules in place are primarily constraining in nature they define limits on what is allowed. Multilateral efforts to identify actions that governments should pursue to encourage international transfer of technology are largely of a best-endeavor. As Mansfield (1975:373) has argued, one of the fundamental processes of influencing or improving the economic performance of nations and firms is technology transfer. According to Ramanathan (2009), economists have long recognized the fact that transfer of technology is at the heart of the process of economic growth, and that the progress of both developed and developing countries depends very strongly on the extent and efficiency of such transfer. It is therefore important for us to examine the politics involved in international transfer of technology, and by politics we imply in this work, a process of achieving and exercising positions of governance organized control over a human community, particularly a state.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
A significant factor contributing to the persistence of low living standards,rising unemployment and growing income inequality,for many less developed countries,is the highly unequal distribution of economic and political power between richandpoornations.Theseunequal strengths are manifested not only in the dominant power of richnationstocontrolthe pattern of international trade but also in their ability often to dictate the termsinwhichtechnology, foreign aid, and private capital are transferred to developing countries. The poor development of the third world countries has seen most of these countries being at the lowest level of world economics. A country is said to be technologically backward when, it cannot produce capital goods such as tractors, lathe machines, drilling machines, cars, trains, and other earth moving equipment’s. It is unable to exploit her natural resources except with the help of foreigners who will normally provide the technology and expertise to undertake the exploitation of her natural resources. It is unable to mechanize her agriculture i.e. crude implements are still used for agricultural production activities by a large percentage of those who are involved in agricultural production. It depends on other countries for the supply of its spare parts for industrial machinery it exports raw materials to other countries as against finished products, it is unable to produce her own military hardware with which to defend herself if the need arises (Useni, 2001). A critical examination of Nigeria reveals that all the points itemized above are present in the country. Thus, Nigeria, as spelt out in the items above, is a technologically backward country. Within the thirty years of evaluation, analysis and registration of technology transfer agreements, National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion, NOTAP, has observed that the initiative to enhance the process of effective technology transfer in the system is very much lacking (NOTAP, 2012) The lack of efficient technology transfer has been viewed differently by several school of thoughts, some school of thoughts are of the opinion that this is as a result of the deceit and lack of transparency by advanced countries in ensuring effective technology transfer while some others blame the poor working system of the country that has made it almost impossible to ensure receptivity (Nelson, 2003).
1.3 Objective of the Study
The main aim of this study is to examine the west and politics of technology transfer using Nigeria as a case study. . The specific objectives are to:
- identify the processes of technology transfer to Nigeria by the west,
- examine the conditions put in place by the west for technology transfer to Nigeria,
- determine the role of western MNCs in technology transfer to Nigeria,
- examine the challenges to effective technology transfer to Nigeria.
1.4 Research Questions
- What are the processes of technology transfer to Nigeria by the West?
- What are the conditions put in place by the west for technology transfer to Nigeria?
- How do the operations western MNCs affect technology transfer to Nigeria?
- What are the challenges of effective technology transfer to Nigeria?
1.5 Significance of the Study
The study would be very important, useful, and significant to the government and stakeholders as it would examine the involvement of the western world and their politics to technology transfer in the third world countries, using Nigeria as a case study. This study would also be of importance to researchers, scholars, and students, who are interested in making further research on the subject matter.
This work is based primarily on the qualitative methodology as it pertains to the west and the politics of technology transfer in Nigeria using secondary sources of data such as books, articles, reports, journals, publications, newspapers, websites, etc which will be analyzed by identifying the critical areas that address the issues in this paper as well as adds more information to the research.
1.7 Scope of the Study
The study is focused on the west and politics of technology transfer with the geographical scope being Nigeria. This research will cover the challenges that Nigeria is facing in terms of technology transfer, and the roles of Multinational corporations in the transfer of technology to Nigeria, and the process of technology transfer within time frame between 2006 and 2018.
1.8 Limitations of the Study
Some constrains which were encountered on the course of this study which limited the scope of the study are as follows;
a) Availability of research material: The research material available to the researcher is insufficient, thereby limiting the study
b) Financial Constraint: the funds that the researcher has does not enhance wider coverage as she can only afford limited materials.
1.9 Definition of Key Terms
For the purpose of clarity the following terminologies which will be recurring in this study will defined:
- i. West: This is a term used to denote the Western part of the world. It also represents the more developed parts of the world like Britain, United States of America, etc.
- ii. Politics: Politics can be defined as the collective decision making or policy making coming to the whole society. It refers to achieving and exercising positions of governance organized control over a human community, particularly a state.
- iii. Technology: Technology is a body of knowledge which is devoted to creating tools, processing actions, and extraction of materials in order to accomplish various tasks in the daily lives of individuals. It is an application of science used to solve problems.
- iv. Technology Transfer: Technology transfer, also called transfer of technology, is the process of transferring technology from the places and in groups of its origination to wider distribution among more people and places.
1.10 Chapter Outline
This research work is explained in five chapters which are as follows;
Chapter one contains the introduction, which consists of the background of the study, statement of problem, objectives of the study, research questions, significance of the study, scope of the study, limitations of the study, and definition of terms. Chapter two contains the review of related literature and theoretical framework upon which the study is based. Chapter three and four will concentrate on and answer two of the research questions contained in this study. Chapter five gives summary, conclusion, and recommendations made of the study.