The Executive Vice-Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Danbatta, has disclosed that the commission has released over N100 million to some Nigerian universities to carry out research in Information Communication Technology (ICT).
Danbatta made the disclosure, Wednesday, in Abuja at the Endowment of Professional Chairs for Bayero University, Kano and Federal University of Technology, Owerri, where he explained that NCC has given more than N100 million intervention funds to the academia for research in various areas of ICT.
According to him, NCC’s vision is to leverage on the huge potential of ICT to address societal and developmental challenges through cutting edge research.
The NCC boss, however, said that the two universities endowed will get N20 million each for the professional chair for 2019-2020, adding that the two universities selected share the same view.
Danbatta said that the professional chair project was borne out of the need to provide academic support for ICT focused research and other emerging telecom industry issues that may confront the nation.
“This regulatory intervention is novel in telecommunication services regulation in Africa.
“We believe that it would open up vista of growth opportunities in the ICT sector in Nigeria.
“It would enhance the quality of research on that sector as well as the quality of academic and professionals in the beneficiary universities,” he said.
The NCC boss urged the beneficiary universities to deploy best-in-class human and material resources capable of delivering the objectives of the project.
“The commission will be encouraged to do more if the key objectives of the programme are achieved for the benefit of the consumers, the industry, academia and our nation,” he said.
The Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission (NUC), Prof. Abubakar Rasheed, while commending the NCC for the initiative, said that research and development was important for any country’s strategic plan.
Rasheed said that such research and endowment of chair would go a long way to help execute the mandate of the NCC that is penetration of Communication Technology in the country.
The Vice-Chancellor, Bayero University, Kano, Prof. Yahuza Bello, said that the grant would be used to enhance research and development in the area of communication technology.
Bello said that the funds would also be used for training and award of scholarship to those who would be carrying out research in the telecom sector.
On his part, the Vice-Chancellor of the Federal University of Technology, Owerri, Prof. Eze Francis, thanked NCC for considering the institution for the award and affirmed that the grant would assist the university to unleash the potential of students and young people employed by the institution.
Earlier, the Director, Research and Development, NCC, Mr. Ephraim Nwokonneya, said that the two institutions had been carefully selected at the pilot stage of the project considering their expertise and recent achievements in research and innovations.
Nwokonneya said that such innovations and research was in the field of science, information, communication and technology.
“The event is a series of NCC strategic collaboration with the Nigerian academia, which we hope to continue to be mutually rewarding to our various organisation and Nigerian telecoms industry,” he said.