NCC awards N233 million in research grants, professorial chair endowments

Consistent with its recognition of the academia as a central stakeholder in its commitment to linkages and local development sphere of the Nigeria’s telecommunications sector, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has awarded fresh research grants and endowed professorial

chairs in some Nigerian universities in the sum of N233 million.
From the total sum, N172.5 million was awarded to support 13 proposals found to have met the stipulated criteria in the advertised 2021 Request for Proposal (RfP) for Telecommunications-Based Research Innovations from Nigerian Tertiary Institutions (research grant) Programme. Additionally, three universities received the sum of N20 million each for endowments of professorial chair by the Commission.
Speaking at the award ceremony, which took place at the Commission’s Head Office in Maitama, Abuja, on Thursday, April 7, 2022, the Executive Vice Chairman of the Commission, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, said the event demonstrated Commission’s strong resolve in advancing the impact of digital technologies on the national economy, using indigenous products and solutions.

While presenting award letters to the Lead Researchers of the beneficiaries of the 13 research grants, Danbatta said, under the Telecommunications-Based Research Innovations, tertiary institutions submit detailed and well thought-out research proposal, on specific thematic areas provided by the Commission. The proposal are expected to result in the development of commercially-viable prototypes as concrete harvests.

According to Danbatta, in 2021 RfP, the Commission received a total of 55 research proposal that focused on five emerging technology areas, namely: Fifth Generation (5G) deployment; Innovative Clean Energy; Advanced Method of Quality of Service (QoS)/Quality of Experience Management and Test Mechanism; Internet of Things (IoT); Low Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN) Technology; and Monitoring and Localising of Drones.

“After thorough evaluations, 13 proposals were found to have met the stipulated criteria. Indeed, this is a clear testimony to the objectivity and painstaking approach to the evaluation process aimed at ensuring that the best quality is achieved and only researches that could produce prototypes with the potential of providing solutions to both local and global challenges were selected,” Danbatta said as he congratulates the 13 successful research awardees.
The EVC also presented dummy cheques of N20 million each to the Vice Chancellors of   three Nigerian universities, namely: University of Port Harcourt, Rivers State; Usman Danfodio University, Sokoto; and Federal University of Technology, Minna, Niger State, who are the beneficiaries of the NCC’s Professorial Chair Endowments.
“The Commission has endowed professorial chairs in tertiary institutions across the country, as a mechanism in entrenching innovations in our tertiary institutions, as well as having graduates that are “industry-ready”. The endowment of professorial chairs in universities is one of Commission’s initiatives in supporting the academia to focus on research in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in order to enhance the advancements of emerging technologies,” Danbatta stated, to underscore the purpose for instituting professorial chairs in tertiary institutions.

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