The Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof Umar Danbatta has urged the academia to come up with indigenously created technology innovations and solutions that will impact positively on the development of the telecommunications industry, and its role in the growth of the Nation’s economy.
Speaking at the Third Stakeholders Consultative Forum with Academia in Abuja, Danbatta stressed the need to identify and succinctly articulate the pressing needs of the industry through the huge knowledge that exists in Academia.
He disclosed that he has appointed a Standing Committee on the Implementation of the Report of the Panel of Experts on the design of blueprint for ICT Research programs in Nigeria to fast-track the goal of using research to enhance regulatory activities in the commission.
The EVC noted that the increase in broadband penetration, which will spin-off from the activities of these infrastructure Companies (InfraCos) will provide facilitate eLearning, e-government, e-health, e-commerce activities, Mobile Money Services in the
He observed that the commission has shown commitment in working with the academia to encourage and support innovation in the last three years, adding that NCC intends to offer Research Fellowship positions for in-depth research and exploration of problems the Industry is facing whilst improving the Researchers’ experience of the industry.
Danbatta disclosed that the commission has a research portfolio size of N252,274,286.00. According to him, NCC in 2013 only awarded one Research Grant adding that last year the total number of Research Grants given increased to 11 from the previous year of 7 awards in the year 2017.
Danbatta stressed the need to expand full research and development funding, collaboration in commercialisation of local innovations, institutionalization, and use of the local innovations resulting in industry sustainability and increased contribution of the sector to national GDP.
He noted that the commission has also formed a National Steering Committee made up of the National Universities Commission (NUC), the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE), the Academia, and the Industry to develop a roadmap that would ensure academic researches address local industry needs and tertiary institutions produce “industry-ready” graduates.