NCC Doles Out N500m For Research In Nigerian Universities

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has committed over N500 million to the Nigerian universities and other tertiary institutions across the country to facilitate research and innovations to promote developments in the Nigerian telecommunications industry.

According to a press release on 31st July 2022 signed by the NCC Director of Public Affairs, Reuben Muoka, said that Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission, Prof Umar Danbatta who disclosed this at a two-day Regional Roundtable with Academia, Industry, and Other Stakeholders which ended in Kano at the weekend, said the funds have been committed to research grants to universities and tertiary institutions, including professorial chairs in the universities in salient areas to drive technology development.

Danbatta said the Commission is now focused on supporting the academia in the commercialization of the prototypes from these innovative researches as this is relevant to the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy’s policy towards achieving indigenous technology for sustainable development of our country. He said the roundtable organized by the Commission was to provide the necessary platform to support the commercialization of locally-developed telecommunications innovations that NCC has been sponsoring.

L-R: Mr. Ismail Adedigba, Director, Research and Development, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC); Dr. Caroline Alenoghena, Director, Entrepreneurship Centre, Federal University of Technology, Minna; Mr. Abdulrahman Ado, Executive Director, 9Mobile; Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, Executive Vice Chairman, NCC; Engr. Ubale Maska, Executive Commissioner, Technical Services, NCC; Prof. Kabiru Bala, Vice Chancellor, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, during the Regional Roundtable with Academia, Industry and other Stakeholders hosted by the Commission in Kano recently.

“The Commission collaborates with the Academia in maximizing the contributions of tertiary institutions to innovations and sustainable development of the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) industry as finance is needed to drive the possible success of these endeavors. ” Danbatta said. Danbatta said these efforts have enabled the Commission to contribute to national efforts to ensure overall growth of the industry and create wealth for innovators, saying all these are fundamental to the objective of the NCC’s R&D-oriented programs.

Based on these, he said ideas, inventions, and improvements that emanate from academia are required by the industry for improved efficiency and productivity. Danbatta said appreciable impacts had been achieved since the Commission reinvigorated research grants for telecommunications-based research innovations from Nigerian academics, focusing on the successful commercialization of locally developed solutions to foster and deepen the uptake of indigenous technology by Nigerians.

NCC’s Executive Commissioner, Technical Services, Engr Ubale Maska, also disclosed that the Commission has so far awarded 49 telecom-based research grants to the academia out of which 10 prototypes were successfully developed and displayed to industry stakeholders. He said the R&D efforts of the Commission were aimed at actualizing some of the 8-point Pillar Eight of National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS), 2020-2030, focusing on Indigenous Content Development and Adoption.

The event, which featured a series of panel session discussions, particularly focusing on sub-themes that addressed the overarching theme of the stakeholder’s forum from different perspectives, drew participants from the academia, telecoms industry stakeholders, financial services sector, and other critical sectors or the economy.

Participants deliberated on understanding commercialization and entrepreneurial model within the university and industry perspectives as well as brainstormed on investment/ funding opportunities for prototype development, sustainability, and the sale of new products in the marketplace.

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