By Sarauniya G Usman, Abuja
Executive Vice Chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Danbatta, has said the commission was committed to funding research proposals from the academia that would improve the telecommunication sector and boost businesses.
Danbatta disclosed this at the inauguration of the 18-member Inter-Agency Committee for the Evaluation of the 2018 research proposals from the academia.
He said the objective was to utilise the capacity resident in the academia toward getting involved in research activities that could impact on businesses and society leading to the development of new products and services for the entire industry.
According to him, the sector has the capacity to contribute to the expansion of the knowledge in the academia and consequently benefit from such contributions.
“Telecommunications has become a major catalyst and facilitator of growth and development of other industries”.
“Our goal is to be able to use this intervention to address industry problem as well as some other societal issues that need urgent attention”.
“To achieve this objective, the committee members are challenged to go through every document in order to achieve a very fair assessment of every submission,’’ Danbatta said”.
He added that the commission was committed to the implementation of the selected proposals for their sustainability into the future.
He said the committee had been empowered to recommend research proposal that were more qualitative and in the end add to the communication sector economy and by extension to create that social transformation that in practical terms add value to quality of life of citizens.
Danbatta said in2017 the commission gave a little over 50million and said due to the commitment of the commission would exceed the amount in 2018.
Mr Bashir Idris, Chairman of the Committee and Head, Research and Development Department, said it was an opportunity to work with the academia to develop lasting solutions to challenges in the telecommunications industry and national interest.
He said the committee was a product of two of the EVC’s 8-point agenda on assumption of office which included promotion of ICT innovation and investment opportunities and facilitate strategic partnerships with relevant ICT stakeholders.
Idris said only 62 research proposals had been received this year which was 35 per cent short from the 95 research proposals of 2018.
On the criteria for the selection, he said the proposals are basically going to focus on researches that either improve on the what exists in the sector or to leverage on the industry to address local issues with substantial local content.