By Nwakaego Alajemba
Nine researchers from universities across Nigeria have been awarded N50 million research grants by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC] in recognition of the role of the academia in the development of the telecoms sector.
The awardees are the 2018 beneficiaries of the Research Proposals Grant project instituted by the NCC as part of process of encouraging research in telecoms and also engaging the academic community in the advancement of Nigeria’s telecom industry.
At a ceremony this week at the NCC’s headquarters to award the grants, the Executive Vice Chairman of the NCC, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta said the academia constitutes an important stakeholder to the industry whose relevance to the growth, sustainability and continuity of the telecommunications industry in Nigeria cannot be overemphasized.
Under the Research Proposals Grant project, ‘tertiary institutions submit detailed and well thought out Research Proposals to the Commission on innovative use of telecommunications to provide solutions to solving national problems. These prototypes which can be so varied include the development of a commercially viable prototype of their research that can have direct impact on the society.’
A report by the NCC notes “In 2016, 56 proposals from the Academia were received by the Commission; however, only three (3) proposals were selected by the Inter-Agency Committee, comprising the Academia and Industry members, to be awarded Grants. In the year 2017, of the ninety six (96) proposals received, after stringent evaluations, only six (6) proposals were found eligible. This shows how serious and stringent the evaluation processes are taken to determine which proposals would yield the desired outcomes.
The NCC’s Director of Research and Development, Mrs. Abigail Sholanke, while congratulating the winners for their contributions to improving the lives of Nigerians through proposals for innovative technology in ICT and, also thanked Prof. Danbatta for his commitment to boost indigenous researches/development in the telecoms sector through collaboration with the academia.
The process that produced the nine researchers was very thorough and transparent, said chairman of the inter-agency committee that selected the researchers, Prof Muhammad Muazu.
Beneficiaries of the grants are Prof Francis Waihala of Covenant University who received N9.321m’ Prof S.B Junaidu of Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), who was given N6, 995m; Dr. Cyprian Anayochukwu of Enugu State University of Science Technology who received N1,381 and Dr. Olusegun Peter Awe of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife who also received N3.545m; Others are Dr. Suleiman Sani of ABU who got N12.332m; Dr. Stella Orakwe of the University of Port-Harcourt who received N5.265m; and Mr. Mahmood Abdulhameed of Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University who got N5, 916m. The list also included
Mr. Oluseun Oyeleke of Nigerian Airforce Institute with a N5m research grant; and Dr. Kehinde Agbele of Elizade University who also received N6, 995m.