Prof. Umar Danbatta, the Executive Vice Chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) on Wednesday says the commission is committed to funding research proposals from the academia that will improve the telecommunication sector and boost businesses.
He made this known at the inauguration of the 18-member Inter-Agency Committee for the Evaluation of 2018 Research Proposals from the Academia.
He said that the objective was to utilise the capacity of members of the academia toward getting involved in research activities that could impact on businesses and the society.
He explained that such impact could lead to the development of new products and services for the entire industry.
According to him, the sector has the capacity to expand the knowledge in the academia and consequently benefit from such contributions.
He said “telecommunications has become a major catalyst and facilitator of growth and development of other industries.
“Our goal is to be able to use this intervention to address industry problems, as well as some other societal issues that need urgent attention.
“To achieve this objective, the committee members are challenged to go through every document to achieve fair assessment of every submission.’’
Danbatta explained that NCC was committed to the implementation of selected proposals due to their sustainability.
He said that the committee had been empowered to recommend quality research proposals to the communication sector economy and by extension to create that social transformation that in practical terms add value to quality of life of citizens.
The NCC boss added that in 2017, the commission gave a little over 50 million, noting that due to commitment, it would exceed the amount in 2018.
Mr Bashir Idris, the Chairman of the Committee and Head of Research and Development Department, NCC, said it was an opportunity to work with the academia to develop lasting solutions to challenges in the telecommunications industry.
Idris said “the committee was a product of two of the Executive Vice Chairman’s 8-point agenda on assumption of office which included promotion of ICT innovation and investment opportunities and strategic partnerships with relevant ICT stakeholders.’’
The committee chairman added that only 62 research proposals had been received this year, 35 per cent short from the 95 research proposals received in 2018.
On the criteria for the selection, he said the proposals were basically on researches that would either improve on existing ones in the sector or to leverage on the industry to address local issues with substantial local content.
Some members of the committee are: Prof. Babatunde Adegboye from Federal University of Technology, Minna, Prof. Cosmos Ani from University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Mr Val Amadi, representing Association of licenced Telecommication Operators of Nigeria, and the Director of Research and Development of NCC, Mrs Iyabode Solanke.