NCC awards 13 universities N172m research grants to boost ICT development

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By Ogaga Ariemu

Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC), has awarded 13 universities the sum of N172,532,040 to boost Information, Communications and Technology(ICT) development.

The Executive Vice Chairman/Chief Executive of NCC, Prof Umar Danbatta who made the disclosure in Abuja on Tuesday during the award ceremony noted that the commission has so far provided over N660 million to Nigeria tertiary institutions for information and communications technology (ICT) focused research innovations

Tertiary Universities benefiting from the grant include: University of Port Harcourt, Usmanu Danfodiyo University Sokoto, Federal University of Technology Imo state, federal university of Agriculture Abeokuta among others

He further disclosed the endowment of N60 million to Three Professorial Chairs in tertiary institutions across the country as a mechanism in entrenching innovations In tertiary institutions

He said, “The endowment of professorial chairs In universities is one of the commissioner’s initiatives in supporting the Academia in focused research in ICT, towards the advancement of technologies.

“The objective is to ensure regulatory and technological solutions capable of improving the communications industry. It is therefore our expectations that institutions would dedicate the required human and material resources to the success of the programmes,” he added.

Meanwhile, Head Research and Development Department NCC, Mrs Kelechi Nwankwo, described the initiative as part of the commission’s effort to strengthen the telecommunications industry in contributing to National development.

On the other hand, one of the awardees, speaking on behalf of the tertiary institutions, the vice chancellor of Usmanu Danfodiyo University Sokoto, Prof Lawal Bilbis commended the commission for the initiatives.

He stressed that Nigeria should prioritise building indigenous technological solutions rather than relying on transferred technology.