By Angeleen Nkwocha
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has awarded over N50 million Grants to nine Nigerian Universities for telecommunications Research to aid the growth, sustainability and continuity of the telecommunications industry in Nigeria.
Speaking on Wednesday in Abuja during the presentation of the Award Letters to the Winners of the 2016, 2017 Research Proposals, the Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta said, that tertiary institutions submitted detailed and well thought out Research Proposal to the Commission on innovative uses of telecommunications to solve national problems.
Danbatta said the Grant is to aid transform the telecom industry in the area of efficient and effective service delivery, access to telecom service, innovative ideas, and ICT applications that will create employment resulting in prototypes that will improve services to the citizens of the Country.
He added that NCC regulates access and competition thus advised telecom operators to key into the initiative by equally putting in resources that will drive research and development in the telecom industry.
The institutions awarded include Covenant University Ota, N9, 321,400, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, N5,916,000, Enugu State University of Science and Technology N1, 381,000.00, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, N3,545,266.00, Ahmadu Bello University Zaria N12,332,000, and N6,995,180.00, University of Port Harcourt N5, 265, 000.00, Nigeria Air Force Institute of Tech Kaduna N5,000,000.00, Elizade University Ondo N5,000,000.00.
He said, in 2016, 56 proposals from the Academia were received by the Commission; however, only three (3) proposals were selected by the Inter-Agency Committee, comprising of the Academia and industry members, to be awarded Grants and in 2017, of the ninety six (96) received proposals, after stringent evaluations, six (6) proposals were also successful to show how stringent the evaluation of the proposals are.
He called on the awardees to play by the rules and conditions for the Grant and to abide by the terms of the Award, adding that they are not 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 sign off on it.