NCC Awards N233m to Universities in Research Grants and Endowments

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CEM REPORT | The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has awarded fresh research grants and endowed professorial chairs in some Nigerian universities to the sum of N233 million, the commission announced in a press statement released Friday

According to the statement, 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, while N20 million each goes to 3 universities for endowments of professorial chair.

Executive Vice Chairman of the Commission, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, said the grant demonstrates the Commission’s strong resolve in advancing the impact of digital technologies on the national economy, using indigenous products and solutions.

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.

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The three Universities that received the endowments of professorial chair are University of Port Harcourt, Rivers State; Usman Danfodio University, Sokoto; and Federal University of Technology, Minna, Niger State.  Their respective Vice Chancellors received Dummy cheques for their Institution.

“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.

The fresh endowment in the three universities brings to seven, the number of universities that the Commission has endowed professorial chairs. Earlier, the NCC had instituted professorial chairs in Federal University of Technology, Owerri, Imo State; Bayero University, Kano, Kano State; Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi State; and University of Ibadan, Oyo State.

Implementation of the endowments of professorial chair and the Telecommunications-Based Research Innovations is through Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the Commission and each benefitting university.

Danbatta said that with the latest awards and endowments, the Commission has committed more than N660 million to Nigerian tertiary institutions for ICT-focused research innovations.

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