NCC Calls for Collaboration Between Industry, Academia

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Emma Okonji

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has stressed the need for strategic collaboration and partnership between the telecoms industry and the academia, through technology innovation.

The Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta who made the call recently in Lagos at the 2018 Academy Technology Dinner/Lecture, organised by the Nigerian Academy of Engineering, said such partnership could be through technology innovation that would impact on the Nigerian economy.

“We are talking about collaboration that will cause disruption through innovation that will usher in new ways of doing things, enhance efficiency and productivity. The NCC realises the importance to this collaboration, which of course is captured in the 8-Point Agenda of the Commission,” Danbatta said.

According to him, in order to drive the industry-academia collaboration, the NCC recently established a department of research and development that will act as an intermediary between the Commission and the universities.
He added that NCC has been very supportive to the members of the Nigerian Academy of Engineering and the universities to facilitate conduct of research that will translate into innovation that will address the challenges of universities and the industry.

“We look forward to seeing the best research results from the universities that could be transformed to drive industry activities,” Danbatta said.

He added: “I feel personally fulfilled as an engineer and as an administrator of human and material resources to be inducted into the Nigerian Academy of Engineering.

“The recognition by the academy is a testament to our excellent performance at NCC in regulating the telecoms industry that the Commission is well known for. We will continue to roll out flexible regulations that will transform the telecoms industry and the Nigerian economy.”

The keynote speaker at the event, Prof. Mike Faborode, who delivered a paper with the theme: ‘Cracking the Code of Industry-Academia Partnership in Nigeria: Challenge to Knowledge Academies’, said the need to provide practicable solution to close the gap between the academia, the industry and governance structure, became imperative, owing to the rising rate of unemployment in the Nigerian society.

In his paper, Faborode looked at the generic concept of the innovation value chain and analysed the current state of research and academic-corporate collaboration in Nigerian universities to provide empirical basis of and elucidate the dominant issues that will help achieve better networking for enhanced uptake of research outputs, products and innovation.

These he said, would lead to greater impact on national and human development and on effective nation building.
He urged the engineering academy to lead the advocacy that will support and harness the activities of the academia and the industry, such that the university system will be able to produce graduates that do not only have the requisite skills that align with industry demand, but also graduates that will become entrepreneurs and employers of labour.