NCC presents 2018 Research Grants to Nigerian scholars

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The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has presented 11 Nigerian scholars with its 2018 Research Grants. The academics come from 10 universities and the grants will cover research works to advance the telecommunication industry in Nigeria.

“The quality of life in any society is determined by the quality of research,” said the Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive (EVC/CE) of the NCC, Professor Umar Danbatta, at the event for the presentation of award letters to the academics who had successfully submitted proposals for the NCC 2018 Research Grants.

Danbatta and other researchers from the universities in attendance
Danbatta and other researchers from the universities in attendance

Danbatta while recalling the seminal words of a philosopher at his opening remarks said a society’s progress is hinged on the quality of research from its academic community. A professor of telecommunications himself, Danbatta is stands at the intersection of telecom engineering scholarship and telecommunication industry. He expressed his happiness with the increasing collaboration and partnership between the academia and Nigeria’s telecommunication industry.

The recipients of the grants are  Prof. Rabiu Magaji, Ahmadu Bello University Zaria; Prof. Ejikechukwu Anene, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi; Prof. Ifeanyichukwu Ezenma, University of Nigeria, Nsukka; Prof. Mohammed Abdulrazaq , Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria; Prof. Oladapo Fakolejo, University of Ibadan and Dr. Abiodun Gbenga-Ilori, University of Lagos. Others are Dr. Stella Orakwe, University of Port Harcourt; Dr. A.O. Adetunmbi, Federal University of Technology, Akure; Dr. Nuhu Shuaibu, University of Jos; Adeyinka Adedigba, Federal University of Technology, Minna and Suleiman Babani, Bayero University, Kano.

Danbatta noted that the academia “provides knowledge resource and research results that govern transformational growth and facilitates innovations in industries worldwide”.

Danbatta with NCC staff
L-R: Henry Nkemadu, Deputy Director Project Department (first right); EVC NCC, Prof.  Danbatta (Middle); Ephraim Nwokonneya, Director Research and development (5th from left); and other staff of Research and Development Department.

He further said, collectively, the academia imparts the youth and the general populace with the resources of knowledge required to qualitatively transform their lives through ground-breaking ideas that have revolutionize and reshape the world. According to him, while the initiative by NCC fits into its mandate, the academia’s role in this instance is well in line with the globally-recognised of community service which is the hallmark of educational institutional culture.

You are not under any circumstance expected to showcase the work or the prototype to anybody or organisation or at any exhibition, until the commission has received the final prototype and sign off in it,” said the NCC’s boss even as he expressed conviction that the prototype that will evolve from this collaboration will be of benefits to the Nigerian telecommunication industry.

“We have accepted the challenge NCC has thrown at us,” said the Chairman of the Assessment Committee, Professor Bashir Muazu. He said the NCC has thrown a challenge to the academic community in Nigeria. He recalled that 63 proposals were received but only 11 met all the criteria set out to evaluate the submissions. He called on the recipients to abide by the rules of engagement and commended the NCC for non-interference with the processes of the committee and for approving the committee’s recommendations.

Professor Musa Aibinu of the Federal University of Technology Minna, who responded on behalf of the recipient institutions commended the NCC for promoting knowledge and knowledge economy. He said the recipients and the Nigerian academic community are encouraged by the NCC vision and promised that they will keep the rules, deliver within stipulated time and deliver what will be beneficial to Nigeria and the global community.

NCC’s Director of Research and Development, Ephraim Nwokonneya recalled the journey of the NCC Research Grant Project and other similar initiatives of the commission noting that just a fortnight ago, some members of the Nigeria academic community gathered at the same venue to witness the endowment of two professorial chairs in Nigerian universities. He said the dynamism of the telecom industry explains NCC’s consistent search for cutting edge solutions oriented in local content and expressed joy that the outcome of some of NCC’s research grants “are undergoing the process of testing and patenting with National Office for Technological Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP), and we are indeed encouraged by these results and that has inspired us to continue to facilitate further researches.”

The NCC Research Grants started in 2016with two recipients. In 2017 there were six winners which grew to 11 awardees in 2018 – an 83% percent increase in the number of beneficiaries in one year. The monetary value of the grants has also increased.

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