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NCC grants to varsities coming


The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) on Monday said it will extend grants to some universities to boost research and development and encourage the development of innovative solutions to address challenges in the industry.

The regulator also said it will inaugurate professorial chairs in some universities across  the country as part of its strategy to open up opportunities in research that will development the industry and create jobs.

The Executive Vice Chairman/CEO of the Commission, Prof. Umar Danbatta told technology reporters on the sideline of a two-day stakeholder’s forum on Emerging Technologies Research and ICT Innovation with Developing Nigeria Tech Eco-system Imperative for Improving Local Content, as theme, that the place of R&D cannot be over-emphasised.

The Nigerian Computer Society (NCS) commended the gesture of the regulator but advised it to partner with Information Communication Technology (ICT) firms in the management of the grant.

Its President, Prof Adesola Aderounmu, said by involving private firms, the innovative products from the intervention of the regulator for ivory towers will be developed and commercialised.

Aderounmu lamented that there are so many such ideas developed by youths at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ife ICT Park that are gathering dust at the shelves for lack of IT firms to commecialise it.

Represented at the forum by the Director, Research and Development at the NCC, Mr. Ephraim Nwokonneya, Prof Dambatta said the grants would help the universities to conduct research in areas that would help the development of the industry.

Although he didn’t give the value of the grants and the academic chair, he however noted that the essence of the grants will be to make it feasible to unlock potentials that would ensure the growth of the industry and improve the local content of the tech eco-system of the country.

He said the innovations that the grants would provide is for the benefit of all Nigerians, adding that the NCC is already giving support to about 82 tech hub that are unlocking potentials across the country.

Earlier in his address, Dambatta said the NCC has been visiting tech hubs across the six geo-political zones of the country to assess their development and challenges saying that “we need to assist the various tech hubs with the right regulatory intervention to ease their operations.”

Danbatta said globalisation has made it imperative for the government and the private sector to remain competitive and improve local content saying that it is important that the right framework is developed to help indigenous companies.

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