The chairman of the Board of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Adeolu Akande has restated the commitment of the commission to commit more funds to research and prototypes resulting from grants from the commission to the academia.
This follows the recent revelation that the commission has committed more than N500 million in funding research to Nigerian universities.
Akande told a gathering of vice chancellors and professors from universities in the southern parts of the country at a roundtable conference in Lagos that the commission acknowledges the importance of working with stakeholders to engender innovations and build indigenous technological capabilities that would strengthen the information and communications technology (ICT) ecosystem.
“We want to use this opportunity to assure you that the commission will continue to give support to the educational sector in the interest of national development. We will also continue to encourage research and innovation in Nigeria’s tertiary institutions.” Akande explained that the essence of the roundtable was to dialogue with the academia, industry and other stakeholders on how research efforts and prototypes can be transformed into commercially-viable products that solve real-life problems.
“Consequently, the commission will continue to allocate the requisite resources to research, development and innovations necessary for the industry to continue to contribute to the socio-economic development of the country,” Akande said.
Earlier, the executive vice chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta represented by the director, legal and regulatory services, NCC, Josephine Amuwa said academia is a key driver of innovation in all spheres of human endeavour.
He gave this as the reason why his leadership at the commission is determined to not only give grants to academia but also support the commercialisation of the prototypes developed to deepen the indigenous technological capabilities which would support the overall development of the industry.
In his remarks, the NCC executive commissioner, technical services, Ubale Maska who was represented by the director, technical standards and network integrity at the commission, Bako Wakil revealed that the commission had, so far, awarded a total of 49 telecom-based research grants to academia, with 10 prototypes successfully developed.
“We are hopeful that these sessions will culminate in the development of a common framework that would facilitate the commercialisation of the existing prototypes and future research outcomes (prototypes) for the benefit of the economy and the industry,” he stated.
A statement by the commission’s director, public affairs, Reuben Muoka said the event which followed a similar roundtable in Kano for the northern region, organised by the research prototypes and development R&D department of the commission, aimed to bring together resources persons, business-savvy industry experts, academia, relevant ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs), entrepreneurs and renowned individuals who have successfully commercialised their inventions to brainstorm on the way forward for research output commercialisation.