The executive vice chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Danbatta has said his management instituted the research grant project because of the relevance of the academia in the development and sustainable growth of the telecommunication industry in the country.
He stated this during the official presentation in Abuja of N65 million award letters to 11 universities in the country for research and development.
The universities include Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria with two awards. Others are University of Lagos, University of Ibadan, University of Port-Harcourt, Bayero University Kano, University of Jos, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, Bauchi, Federal University of Technology, Minna and Federal University, Akure.
Danbatta explained that the recognition of the role of the academia in the development of the sector was the basis for instituting the research grant project, pointing out that the action was to underscore the critical role, expectations from and the confidence the commission has in the academia in working towards national re-engineering and transformation.
“The academia provides the knowledge resource and research results that govern transformational growth and facilitate innovations in industries worldwide. The academia imparts knowledge to the youth, turning them into well informed and transformational citizens with innovative ideas capable of revolutionalising industries and reshaping our world,” he maintained.
The NCC boss said for the 2018 financial year, the commission received 63 research proposals and after stringent evaluations 11 proposals were found to have met the set criteria. “This is a clear testimony of the objectivity and complexity of evaluation process in ensuring that best quality is achieved and the researches are such that will produce prototypes with the potential of providing solutions to both local and global challenges,” he stated.
In his remarks, the director, research and development, NCC, Mr Ephraim Nwokonneya, said the award showed the commission’s determination to facilitate research and innovation in the telecom industry in the country.
He further explained that issuing of formal letters of award of grants to experts in the academia was to those who had given a clear evidence of their capability to make success of their chosen research themes.
“Since we started this project some years ago, some of the research experts have succeeded in delivering research result and prototypes that are implementable and viable,” he added.
In his remarks on the occasion, the chairman of the Inter-Agency Committee, Prof. Mohammed-Bashir Mu’aza explained that the committee always favoured proposals which have direct relevance to the telecommunication industry and the level of impact it will have with the local content policy of the Federal Government.
Speaking on behalf of the awardees, Prof. Musa Aibinu of the Federal University of Technology Minna, Niger State commended the NCC for promoting knowledge-based economy and promised they would keep the rules within stipulated time and deliver what would be beneficial to Nigeria and the global community.
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