Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and provided professorial chairs to the tune of N40 million in two more Nigerian universities.
Dr Ikechukwu Adinde, director of Public Affairs, NCC, said this in a statement at the weekend in Abuja.
”This is in line with NCC’s ongoing initiative to ensure a sustainable telecommunications industry that is responsive to global technological changes as well as national consumer preferences,” he said.
Adinde said that the universities, which were given N20 million each for the next two years, included Premier University of Ibadan, Oyo State and Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, in Bauchi State.
The director said that the money was to allow them to embark on massive research to promote innovation to drive socio-economic development in the country.
Prof. Umar Danbatta, executive vice-chairman of NCC, said the move was in continuation of NCC’s initiative aimed at strengthening the telecommunications industry to continuously contribute to national development.
Danbatta explained that the initiative was in line with the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS), 2020 – 2030, which was unveiled by the Federal Government in 2019.
He further explained that it was with the mission of building a nation where digital innovation and entrepreneurship were used to create value and prosperity for all.
Danbatta said NCC’s collaborations with the academia would specifically impact Pillar three, four and six of NDEPS bordering on Solid Infrastructure, Service Infrastructure and Digital Services Development and Promotion, respectively.
He also stated that the scheme aligned with two additional pillars of the commission’s Strategic Management Plan (SMP), 2020 – 2024 on Promotion of Development of Digital Economy and Strategic Partnering.
Danbatta, however, called on benefitting universities to ensure that regulatory and technological solutions with potential of improving the industry were developed through dedication of required human and material resources to the programme.
“The commission’s engagement with the academia, therefore, is to ensure that there is application of knowledge generated in the tertiary institutions in the telecommunications industry.
“The endowment of professorial chairs in universities is one of the initiatives to support the Academia in focus research areas in ICT and contribute to the advancements in emerging technologies,” he said.
Earlier, Dr Henry Nkemadu, director, Research and Development, NCC, said that the new professorial chair endowment further demonstrated NCC’s conviction that the academia was a key driver to innovation in all spheres of human endeavour.
Nkemadu said that it had specific reference to ideas, inventions and prototype development for improving the level of productivity and efficiency in the industry.
“The instituting and endowing of professorial chairs in the two premier universities brings to four, the number of tertiary institutions of learning that have benefitted from the NCC’s innovation-driving initiative.
“The Bayero University, Kano and Federal University of Technology, Owerri in May, 2019, were endowed with professorial chairs,’’ he said.