Tuesday, May 24, 2022

NCC Sets Pace For FG’s Indigenous Tech Development Policy

…Showcases sponsored prototypes

Pantami NCC
Prof. Isa Pantami (second from right) interacting with an innovator at the exposition.

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has given concrete expression to the Federal Government’s drive to promote indigenous innovative technologies in Nigeria’s telecommunication sector.

The NCC demonstrated this by organising the maiden prototype and research exposition aimed at showcasing no fewer than 10 prototypes, arising from its sponsored telecommunications-based research innovation projects in Nigerian universities.

At the event, which took place in Abuja, from February 21 to 22, 2022, the commission selected 10 prototypes for exhibition as outputs of its telecom research project during the two-day event.

The top 10 prototypes include: Multiple operators’ enabled SIM, GSM communication-based walking cane robot, powerline communications module, home-grown electrical power charger, low-cost GSM telephone system, a wireless power transfer device, vital sign monitor, plastic optical fibre cable, wearable e-band tracker and a software-based nomadic base station.

The commission is implementing the research and prototype exposition as a way of encouraging the commercialisation of the prototypes, as an influential platform for universities, professionals and industry experts to come together, share information and build long-lasting business relationships.

Speaking at the event, Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Pantami, stated that, through the NCC’s telecoms-based research and prototype exposition, “the indigenous technological capabilities of Nigerians will be fully appreciated, harnessed and utilised towards stimulating the overall productivity and sustainability of the telecommunications industry.”

Pantami emphasised that research is considered a necessary condition for the technological development of any nation and, also, regarded as the backbone of the communications industry as the building block for the future development of advanced telecommunications products and services. He tasked the mobile network operators (MNOs) to work with NCC to support indigenous technology development to solve national challenges in future.

The minister commended the commission’s board and management for facilitating the delivery of the lofty policy targets contained in the National Policy for the Promotion of Indigenous Content (NPPIC) 2021. Also, he thanked the recipients of the commission’s grants for the display of already developed prototypes for the knowledge of the industry stakeholders.

Speaking earlier, the chairman, NCC, board of commissioners, Prof. Adeolu Akande, declared that the commission will continue to provide the enabling environment to bridge the gap in the significant tripartite relationship among the academia, industry and the government. He encouraged participants to support NCC’s initiative to succeed, as businesses will emerge, and sustainable jobs will be available for our young graduates on account of these new developments.

In his address, the executive vice chairman, NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, reinforced the commission’s commitment to discharging its role as an active regulator to drive the indigenous content development component of the nation’s telecoms sector. The EVC reiterated the significance of building the indigenous technological capacities of Nigerians through partnerships with relevant stakeholders.

“The commission has awarded grants to successful academic institutions to develop working prototypes and telecommunications-led products capable of addressing industry needs and providing overall sustainability, fully-developed and ready for the first phase of market entry.  

“It is important to have a commercialisation strategy to transit from rudimentary research into the market to address the local challenges and reduce the over-dependence on imported innovations and technologies with the attendant drain on the nation’s scarce foreign exchange. This is what this programme hopes to achieve, to maximise the full potential of academia in contributing to the steady growth of the telecoms industry in Nigeria,” he added.

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