16 Varsities Get NCC’s N232.5m Research, Devt Grant on Telecoms

Oghenevwede Ohwovoriole in Abuja

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), has given 16 Nigerian universities a total of N232.5 million telecommunications research and development grant.

The grant consisted of three professional chair endowment grant and N172 million to 13 universities for research projects.

Speaking at the presentation of cheques to the 16 universities and the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the three professional chair endowment on Tuesday in Abuja, the Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) of the NCC, ProfessorUmar Danbatta, said: “The commission is awarding a total sum of One hundred and seventy two million, five hundred and thirty two thousand and forty naira (N172,532,040.00) only for these 13 research projects and sixty million naira (60,000,000) only as endowment in the three universities.

“With these awards and endowments the commission would have provided more than six hundred and sixty million Naira (N660,000,000.00) to Nigerian tertiary institutions for the Information Communications Technology (ICT) focused research innovations.

 “The 2021 request for proposals the commission received a total of fifty-five (55) research proposals that focused on five emerging technology areas, namely: 5G Deployment, Innovative Clean Energy, Advanced Method of Quality of Service (QoS)/Quality of Experience Management and Test Mechanism; IoT Low Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN) Technology; and Monitoring and Localising of Drones.

“After the evaluations, thirteen (13) proposals were found to have met the stipulated criteria.”

The EVC, in an interview said the endowment of three professional chairs to three Nigerian universities was to drive this effort and grants to 13 Nigerian universities for the purpose of conducting research that are relevant.

He said: “We signed MoU with the three universities that got a professional chair endowment grant of N20 million each, making it a total of N60 million. There are conditions for the application of the endowment chair to the universities. The conditions are what we stated in the MoU we signed.

“If we see any application of the grant outside what we have stated in the MoU then we will raise an objection, because you don’t give an endowment to a university without stating what it is intended to be used for.” 

The Head of Research and Development Department, NCC, Mr. Kelechi Nwakwo, in his welcome address said: “The commission in line with the strategic management plan (2020-2024) having identified stakeholders’ collaboration and partnership as being critical to the attainment of its cooperate objectives, designed the telecommunications-based research innovation from academics in Nigerian tertiary institutions and the endowment of professorial chair programmes, to ensure that the Nigerian academic community is able to contribute to the life-transforming solutions and products that the information society offers.

“The commission strongly appreciates the importance of working with stakeholders to engender innovations and build indigenous technological capabilities that would strengthen the ICT ecosystem; not only in the provision of services, but also in the development of a communication manufacturing and supply sector within the Nigerian economy.”

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