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NCC commits N500million to research, innovations in Nigerian Universities

L-R: Mr. Ismail Adedigba, Director of Research and Development at NCC; Dr. Caroline Alenoghena, Director of Entrepreneurship Centre, FUTMINNA; Mr. Abdulrahman Ado, Executive Director of 9Mobile; Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, Executive Vice-Chairman at NCC; Engr. Ubale Maska, Executive Commissioner, Technical Services of NCC; Prof. Kabiru Bala, Vice-Chancellor, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, at the Regional Roundtable with Academia, Industry and Other Stakeholders the Commission hosted in Kano Photo: NCC

*Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, Executive Vice-Chairman/CEO of NCC, discloses the Commission now focuses on supporting the academia in the commercialisation of the prototypes from these innovative researches towards achieving indigenous technology for sustainable development in the country

Gbenga Kayode | ConsumerConnect

As part of the Commission’s efforts at promoting indigenous research and innovations in the economy, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has committed over N500 million to the Nigerian universities and other tertiary institutions across the country

ConsumerConnect reports the basic objective of the telecoms sector regulator’s funding support is to facilitate research and innovations to promote developments in the Nigerian telecommunications industry.

Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, Executive Vice-Chairman/Chief Executive Officer (EVC/CEO) of NCC, disclosed this development at a two-day Regional Roundtable with the Academia, Industry and Other Stakeholders, which ended at the weekend, in Kano, Northern Nigeria.

Mr. Reuben Muoka, Director of Public Affairs at NCC, in a statement issued Sunday, July 31, 2022, in Abuja, FCT, noted Danbatta said that the Commission had committed funds to research grants to universities and tertiary institutions, including professorial chairs in the universities in salient areas to drive technology development.

The NCC EVC/CEO also noted that the Commission is now focused on supporting the academia in the commercialisation 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 the West African country.

According to him, the regulatory Commission organised the roundtable to provide the necessary platform to support the commercialisation of locally-developed telecommunications innovations which NCC has been sponsoring.

He further stated: “The Commission collaborates with the academia in maximising the contributions of tertiary institutions to innovations and sustainable development of the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) industry as finance is needed to drive possible success of these endeavours.”

Danbatta said these efforts had enabled the Commission to contribute to national efforts towards ensuring overall growth of the industry while creating wealth for innovators.

All these are fundamental to the objective of the NCC’s R&D-oriented programmes, said he.

On the basis of these, Danbatta said ideas, inventions, and improvements that emanate from the 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 successful commercialisation of locally developed solutions to foster and deepen the uptake of indigenous technology by Nigerian consumers.

Speaking at the forum in Kano, Engr. Ubale Maska, Executive Commissioner, Technical Services of the Commission also disclosed that the NCC, thus far, had awarded 49 telecom-based research grants to the academia in Nigeria.

The Commission as well noted that 10 prototypes were successfully developed and displayed to industry stakeholders.

Engr. Ubale affirmed that the research and development (R&D) efforts of the Commission are aimed at actualising 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 series of panel session discussions, particularly focusing on sub-themes that addressed the overarching theme of the stakeholders’ forum from different perspectives.

It also attracted participants from the academia, telecoms industry stakeholders, financial services sector, and other critical sectors of the Nigerian economy.

Participants deliberated on understanding commercialisation 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 market place.

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