The Federal Government, through the Nigerian Communications Commission, has offered N233m fresh grants and endowed professorial chair to promote research in the information, communication and technology sector.
This was contained in a statement issued by the NCC on Friday, titled ‘NCC awards N233m in research grants, professorial chair endowments’.
It read in part, “Consistent with its recognition of the academia as a central stakeholder in its commitment to linkages and local development sphere of Nigeria’s telecommunications sector, the Nigerian Communications Commission has awarded fresh research grants and endowed professorial chairs in some Nigerian universities in the sum of N233m.
While N172.5m was awarded to support 13 research proposals from tertiary institutions in Nigeria, N20m each was awarded to three professorial chairs.
“From the total sum, N172.5m was awarded to support 13 proposals found to have met the stipulated criteria in the advertised 2021 Request for Proposal for Telecommunications-Based Research Innovations from Nigerian Tertiary Institutions (research grant) Programme. Additionally, three universities received the sum of N20m each for endowments of professorial chairs by the Commission,” the statement added.
In 2021 RfP, the Commission received a total of 55 research proposals on five emerging technology areas, namely: Fifth Generation deployment; Innovative Clean Energy; Advanced Method of Quality of Service/Quality of Experience Management and Test Mechanism; Internet of Things; Low Power Wide Area Network Technology; and Monitoring and Localising of Drones.
The Executive Vice Chairman of the Commission, Prof. Umar Danbatta, was quoted in the statement as saying “After thorough evaluations, 13 proposals were found to have met the stipulated criteria. Indeed, this is a clear testimony to the objectivity and painstaking approach to the evaluation process aimed at ensuring that the best quality is achieved and only researches that could produce prototypes with the potential of providing solutions to both local and global challenges were selected.”
Danbatta presented dummy cheques of N20m each to the Vice Chancellors of three Nigerian universities, namely: University of Port Harcourt, Rivers State; Usman Danfodio University, Sokoto; and Federal University of Technology, Minna, Niger State, the beneficiaries of the NCC’s Professorial Chair Endowments.
The fresh endowment in the three universities makes it a total of seven that have been awarded over the years. The NCC had previously instituted professorial chairs in the Federal University of Technology, Owerri, Imo State; Bayero University, Kano, Kano State; Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi State; and University of Ibadan, Oyo State.
In addition, the Executive Vice Chairman stated that with the latest awards and endowments, the Commission has committed over N660m to Nigerian tertiary institutions for ICT-focused research innovations.