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NCC bankrolls research, devt in varsities


NCC bankrolls research, devt in varsitiesTHE Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has awarded N65 million  research grants to 11 universities.

The regulator has also endowed N100 million professorial chairs in two universities. The professorial chair and the research grants are for the development of the Information Communications Technology (ICT) sector, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT) and the nation’s economy through local content.

As part of  its mandate to “promote and enhance public safety through the use of a particular number which shall be designated as the Universal Safety and Emergency Assistance Number for telephone services generally”, the regulator said it will also launch Emergency Communications Centres across the country.

When launched, citizens will be able access help from any response agencies such as the Police, Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Fire and Ambulance Services by simply dialing a toll free number 112 from any network.

The Federal Executive Council (FEC) approved the establishment of the National Emergency Communications Agency (NECA) to set up an Emergency Communications System for Nigeria. Members were drawn from the Ministry of Communication, NCC, Mobile Network Operators (MNOs), security agencies, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), and other relevant agencies for the adoption of a three-digit emergency number, 112.

The universities that benefited from the grants are Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Abubakar Tafawa Belewa University, Bauchi,  University of Nigeria,  Nsukka, University of Lagos, University of Ibadan, University of Port Harcourt, Federal University of Technology, Akure.

Others are University of Jos, Federal University of Technology, Minna, and Bayero University, Kano. Two researchers were picked from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria.

Presenting the grants to the beneficiaries at the headquarters of the NCC in Abuja, the Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) of the Commission, Prof Umar Danbatta said the Commission received 63 research proposals for last year’s grants, out of which 11 were found to have met the criteria for approval.

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