The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has disbursed over N100 million to some Nigerian Universities to carry out research in telecommunications and Information Communication Technology (ICT).
The NCC’s Executive Vice Chairman, Prof. Umar Danbatta, who disclosed this on Wednesday in Abuja at the endowment of professional chairs for some universities, said that the funds will help in enhancing research that will, in turn, boost the economy and create employment in the long run.
The two universities that received the endowment funds for ICT-focused and telecoms-related research are Bayero University Kano (BUK) and the Federal University of Technology Owerri (FUTO). The value of each endowment for the 2019-2020 academic session is N20 million.
Why the Endowment? According to Danbatta, it was borne out of the need to provide academic support for ICT-focused research and other emerging telecom industry issues that may confront the nation. It also resonates with the NCC’s vision of leveraging the opportunity of ICT to address societal and developmental challenges through cutting edge research.
“This regulatory intervention is novel in telecommunication services regulation in Africa. We believe that it would open up a vista of growth opportunities in the ICT sector in Nigeria. For the Academia, it would enhance the quality of research on that sector as well as the quality of academic and professionals in the beneficiary universities.” -Danbatta
Stakeholders’ Response: Reacting to this development, the Executive Secretary of National Universities Commission (NUC), Prof. Abubakar Adamu Rasheed, commended the NCC’s efforts at research and development which are the key objectives of the initiative.
Prof. Yahuza Bello, Vice-Chancellor, Bayero University, Kano, also expressed his gratitude while stating that the grant would be used to enhance research and development in the area of communication technology.
Bello said that the funds would also be used for training and award of scholarship to those who would be carrying out research in the telecom sector.
Prof. Eze Francis, Vice-Chancellor of the Federal University of Technology, Owerri, also thanked NCC for considering the institution for the award
Speaking further, he assured the commission that the institution would do its best in encouraging the NCC so as to extend such collaboration and partnership to other universities and institutions in the future.