Over N500 million has been donated by The Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, to Nigerian universities and other tertiary institutions across the country to facilitate research and innovations to promote developments in the Nigerian telecommunications industry.
Prof Umar Danbatta, the executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission, disclosed this at a two-day Regional Roundtable with Academia, Industry and Other Stakeholders in Kano at the weekend, said the funds had 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 was now focused on supporting the academia in the commercialisation of the prototypes from these innovative researches, noting that this was relevant to the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy’s policy towards achieving indigenous technology for sustainable development of the country.
He said the roundtable, organized by the commission, was to provide the necessary platform to support the commercialisation of locally- developed telecommunications innovations which NCC had been sponsoring.
“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.
He said these efforts had enabled the commission to contribute to national efforts to ensure overall growth of the industry and create wealth for innovators, saying all these were fundamental to the objective of the NCC’s R&D-oriented programmes.
On the basis of these, he said ideas, inventions, and improvements that emanated from the academia were 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 Nigerians.
NCC’s Executive Commissioner, Technical Services, Engr Ubale Maska, also disclosed that the commission had 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.