The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has given a N50 million grant to nine researchers in Nigerian institutions to carry out research in the telecommunications sector.
Prof. Umar Danbatta, Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, while presenting the award letters in Abuja, said the grant would go a long way in transforming the country’s telecoms sector.
Danbatta said the grant was in recognition of the role of the academia in the development of the telecoms sector.
“Under this project, tertiary institutions submit detailed and well thought out research proposal to the commission on innovative use of telecommunications to solve national problems.
“These prototypes which can be so varied include the development of a commercially viable prototype of their research, ‘’ he said.
He said 56 proposals from the academia were received in 2016 by the commission, with only three selected for grant by the Inter-Agency Committee comprising of the academia and industry members.
Danbatta said 96 proposals were received in 2017 , with six successful after stringent evaluation.
He warned the researchers against showcasing the research work or its prototype to any organisation or at any exhibition until NCC receives it.
“We have set out clear terms and conditions for the grant. We expect you to abide by the terms of the award.
“In addition, we wish to provide a word of caution; you are not under any circumstance to showcase the work or the prototype to any bodies or organisations or at any exhibition until the commission has received the final prototype and signed off on it,” he added.
In his remarks, Prof Muhammad Muazu, the Chairman of the Inter-Agency Committee said the process that produced the nine researchers given grant was thorough and transparent.
NCC gave the breakdown of the N50 million grant and the institutions awarded as Covenant University Ota, (N9,321,400), Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi( N5,916,00) and Enugu State University of Science and Technology (N1, 381,000) .
Also included were Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife(N3,545,266.00), University of Port Harcourt (N5, 265, 000.00), Nigeria Air Force Institute of Technology, Kaduna (N5,000,000.00) and Elizade University, Ilara-Mokin (N5,000,000.00.).
Ahmadu Bello University(ABU), Zaria, got N12,332,000 and N6,995,180.00.
Speaking on behalf of the awardees, Prof. Sani Suleiman of ABU, Zaria, thanked the commission for the confidence reposed in them, urging it to ensure that the laudable initiative was extended to telecoms operators.