NCC Calls for Collaboration Between Telcos, Academic Institutions

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Umar Garba Danbatta

 Emma Okonji

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has stressed the need for collaboration between the telecoms industry and the academia in order to boost productivity and foster economic development.

The Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, who called for such collaboration during the recent north-east and North-west regional forum organised by NCC, said the synergy by academia, industry and regulators, would accelerate innovation, industry growth and sustainability.

Danbatta who was represented by the Executive Commissioner, Technical Services at NCC, Ubale Maska, said: “The academia is a key driver in innovation in all spheres of human endeavour. But in specific terms, the ideas, interventions and improvements that emanate from the academia are required by the industry for improved efficiencies and productivity.”

According to him, the growth of new technologies such as Internet of Things (IoTs), Artificial Intelligence (AI), Cloud Computing, increased delivery of speed by various broadband technologies like 4G and 5G technologies, advancement in processor and other electronics technologies have led to huge opportunities and risks.

Hence the need for collaboration between academia, industry and regulators to ensure these technologies can be properly harnessed and standards built in such a way that it is beneficial to all stakeholders. The potential opportunities and important aspect that should be considered by all stakeholders are critical aspects that academia are invited to research and proffer pragmatic solutions.
“The future is something we should be ready for, and adapt to, and we should see the future as something we can create. Three areas are fundamental to the future, which include innovation, industry growth and synergy,” Danbatta said.

NCC would therefore make a commitment not only to the success of the industry, but also to facilitate the contributions from academia, ensure sustainability and economic growth.

The Commission strives to ensure the engagement of all stakeholders, improving efficiency and impacting consumers positively, Danbatta added.
The telecommunications industry for instance, has enormous potential for enabling environmental, social and economic benefits through broadband connectivity, he said.

Danbatta therefore challenged the academia to study the impact of various practices and issues peculiar to the Nigerian operating environment on the operational efficiency and service delivery capability and performance by telecommunication industry players.
He said such collaboration would help all to appreciate the importance of research, while researchers could gain first-hand appreciation of commercial application that could drive their research projects.

Earlier in his remarks, Maska said the regional roundtable with academia and other stakeholders would be held annually in order to bring together all stakeholders to the table and discuss matters that affect the telecom sector.

“Research and development will drive high-end manufacturing, create more Information and Communications Technology (ICT) applications to improve our lives, and fuel Industry growth, hence the need for the collaboration,” Maska said.