The executive vice chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta has said the commission is committed to funding research proposals from the academia that will improve the telecommunication sector and boost businesses.
He stated this at the inauguration of the 18-member inter-agency committee for the evaluation of 2018 research proposals from the academia, pointing out that the objective was to utilise the capacity of members of the academia toward getting involved in research activities that could impact on businesses and the society.
He explained that such an impact could lead to the development of new products and services for the entire industry.
According to him, the sector has the capacity to expand knowledge in the academia and consequently benefit from such contributions.
“Telecommunications has become a major catalyst and facilitator of growth and development of other industries. Our goal is to be able to use this intervention to address industry problems as well as some other social issues that need urgent attention. To achieve this objective, the committee members are challenged to go through every document to achieve fair assessment of every submission,’’ he said.
Danbatta explained that NCC was committed to the implementation of selected proposals due to their sustainability.
He said the committee had been empowered to recommend quality research proposals to the communication sector economy and by extension to create that social transformation that in practical terms add value to the quality of life of citizens.
He added that in 2017, the commission gave a little over N50 million, noting that due to commitment, it would exceed the amount in 2018.
In his response, the chairman of the committee and head of research and development department, NCC, Mr Bashir Idris, said it was an opportunity to work with the academia to develop lasting solutions to challenges in the telecommunication industry.
According to him, the committee is a product of two of the executive vice chairman’s 8-point agenda on assumption of office which included promotion of ICT innovation and investment opportunities and strategic partnerships with relevant ICT stakeholders.
Idris said only 62 research proposals had been received this year, 35 per cent short from the 95 research proposals received in 2017.