From Adanna Nnamani, Abuja
As part of efforts to boost indigenous digital technologies in the country, the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) has awarded the sum of N172,532,040 to 13 universities as telecommunications-based research grants.
NCC Executive Vice Chairman, Umar Danbatta, made this known during the award ceremony and signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in Abuja on Tuesday.
According to him, the Commission has so far provided over N660 million to Nigeria’s tertiary institutions for information and communications technology (ICT) focused research innovations
The tertiary institutions benefiting from the grant include the University of Port Harcourt, Usmanu Danfodiyo University Sokoto, Federal University of Technology Imo State, and the Federal University of Agriculture Abeokuta, among others.
He further disclosed the endowment of N60 million to 3 Professorial Chairs In tertiary institutions across the country as a mechanism for entrenching innovations In tertiary institutions
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‘The endowment of professorial chairs In universities is one of the commissioner’s initiatives in supporting the Academia in focused research in ICT, towards the advancement of technologies,’ he said.
‘The objective is to ensure regulatory and technological solutions capable of improving the communications industry. It is, therefore, our expectation that institutions would dedicate the required human and material resources to the success of the programmes,’ he added
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Meanwhile, Kelechi Nwankwo, Head, Research and Development Department of NCC, described the initiative as part of the commission’s effort to strengthen the telecommunications industry in contributing to National development
Speaking on behalf of the tertiary institutions, Lawal Bilbis, The Vice-Chancellor of Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto State commended the commission for the initiatives. He stressed that Nigeria should prioritise building indigenous technological solutions rather than relying on transferred technology.