By Victor Akindele
The Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Danbatta, has said that the telecom regulator’s commitment towards the development of indigenous solutions informed its supports and funding of research projects.
Danbatta, who stated this while inaugurating a 15-member Evaluation Committee for the assessment of the 2020 Telecommunications based research from Academics in the Nigerian tertiary institutions, said the Commission would continue to encourage the development of innovative solutions that impact not only the Telecom industry/ICT sector positively but also the nation as a whole.
“We want to continuously support research projects that can lead to the development of new products and services in the industry as the key enabler of the nation’s digital economy. We are all aware of the appreciable contributions of the Nigerian Telecommunication sector to the growth of our Gross Domestic Product (GDP) over the years, which peaked at 14.53 per cent in the second quarter of 2020,” he said.
Danbatta stated that the Commission understands that funding Research and Development (R&D) is fundamental to ensuring that the needs of consumers are properly anticipated and met while enabling sustainable economic growth, adding that the Digital Economy-based Research Innovations project underlines the importance of funding R&D.
The Evaluation Committee for the assessment of the 2020 research proposals, which is chaired by Prof. Mu’azu Bashir, a professor of Computer and Control Engineering and Head of Computer Engineering Department at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria was inaugurated at the Commission’s Head Office in Abuja recently.
According to the EVC, for the year 2020, the request for proposals was tailored to providing innovations and solving challenges in five emerging areas of technology. These include innovative clean energy technology; 5G deployment in Nigeria; Internet of Things (IoT), low power Wide Area Network (WAN) technology; advanced methods of Quality of Service (QoS) and Quality of Experience (QoE) management and test mechanism as well as monitoring and localisation of drones.
While emphasising the importance of the telecommunication/ICT industry to innovative developments and transformations within the economy, Danbatta tasked members of the Committee to thoroughly evaluate all submissions in order to sieve, identify and select the best from the proposals submitted.
“Members of this Committee have been carefully selected from the Academia, related government institutions, and the industry based on their pedigree. I have no doubt in my mind that you will carry out the assignment to the highest acceptable standards,” the EVC said. The Committee is expected to carry out the assignment and submit its report within four (4) weeks from the day of inauguration.