By Emma Okonji
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has instituted and endowed professorial chairs to the tune of N40 million in two more Nigerian universities.
The two universities included the University of Ibadan, Oyo State and the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi State.
They were endowed with N20 million each over the next two years to embark on massive research to promote innovation to drive socio-economic development in the country.
Speaking during the award and signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the two varsities in Abuja recently, the Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta who was represented by the NCC’s Director of Legal and Regulatory Services, Josephine Amuwa, said the move was in continuation of NCC’s initiative aimed at strengthening the telecommunications industry to continuously contribute to national development.
“The Commission’s engagement with the academia, therefore, is to ensure that there is application of knowledge generated in the tertiary institutions in the telecommunications industry. The endowment of Professorial Chairs in Universities is one of the initiatives to support the Academia in focus research areas in ICT and contribute to the advancements in emerging technologies,” he said.
The EVC further explained that the initiative is in line with the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS), 2020 – 2030, which was unveiled by the Federal Government in 2019 with the mission of building a nation where digital innovation and entrepreneurship are used to create value and prosperity for all.
Danbatta said NCC’s collaborations with the academia would impact Pillar 3, 4 and 6 of NDEPS bordering on Solid Infrastructure, Service Infrastructure and Digital Services Development and Promotion, respectively.
The EVC also stated that the scheme aligns with two additional pillars of the Commission’s Strategic Management Plan (SMP), 2020-2024 on Promotion of Development of Digital Economy and Strategic Partnering.
Danbatta, therefore, charged the beneficiary universities to ensure that regulatory and technological solutions with potential for improving the industry are developed through dedication of the required human and material resources to the programme.