NCC to Boost Institutions’ Research on New Technologies

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Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta

Emma Okonji

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has concluded plans to collaborate with the Federal University of Technology (FUT), Minna, and other tertiary institutions on research into emerging technologies in the telecommunications sector.

The Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta made the disclosure in Minna, Niger State, during a recent conference with academia, industry and other stakeholders in the North-central region.

Danbatta, who was represented by the Director of Spectrum Administration at NCC, Austin Nwaulune, described the academia as a very important stakeholder in research and development.

“For growth to happen you need research into emerging issues and emerging technologies and that is why we are partnering academic institutions, which are the homes of research and development.

“The universities are institutions of research, that is their core area. So partnering them with enable them to do what they can do and do it best,” Danbatta said.

Similarly, the Commission’s Director of Research and Development, Ephraim Nwokonneya, highlighted exponential growth recorded in the telecommunications sector since 2001, underscoring the need to deploy research and development to tap enormous potentials in the sector.

According to him, “Telecommunications activities have facilitated enormous growth and development in the information and communications technology (ICT) sector. Subscriber base has grown tremendously from barely half a million in 2001 to over 163 million active subscribers today. Volume of investment in the industry has grown, and the contribution to gross domestic product (GDP), as well as the number of operators in the industry, have also grown. Direct and indirect employment have been generated. Today ICT has redefined the way we live, work, interact, and socialise, and it had become the catalyst for economic development in our country today.”

But we believe that such growths need to be sustained, we even believe there are more potential that we need to tap. The future looks very bright and we believe that we cannot do this alone. We believe that a lot of research and development is needed to be able to energise further growth and sustainability in the industry. We believe that there are a lot of potentials in the academia that we can leverage on,” Nwokonneya added.

Vice Chancellor(VC), FUT, Minna, Prof. Abdullahi Bala, thanked NCC for the collaboration and also sought NCC’s partnership for the establishment of the Centre for Emerging Technologies FUT, Minna campus, saying the largely ICT-based centre would address issues such as cybersecurity, cryptocurrency, digital policing and forensics among others.

The VC thanked NCC for the numerous grants it has given the school, and described the Commission as a critical stakeholder in the institution’s development.