L-R: Prof. Losmas I. Ani, University of Nigeria Nsukka, Prof Umar Garba Danbatta Executive Vice Chairman, NCC; Abigail Sholanke, Director Research and Development Department, NCC; Prof. Muhammed Muzu Ahmadu Bello University; Usman Malah ,Chief of Staff to the Executive Vice Chairman, NCC during the inauguration of inter-agency committee for the 2017 research proposals at the Commission's Head Office, Abuja.

NCC Inaugurates 2017 Inter-agency Committee For Solutions To ICT Challenges

By Nse Anthony-Uko
(Sundiata Post) — The Nigerian Communications Commission, (NCC) has inaugurated the 2017 inter-agency Committee of Professionals for the evaluation of telecoms based research submissions in the country.
This is in continuation of the Commission’s engagement with Nigerian tertiary institutions, especially the university system in the area of research in order to address the rising challenges in the telecommunication sector.
Executive Vice Chairman of the Commission, Prof. Umar Dambatta, who disclosed this at the inauguration of the committee in Abuja, said the commission considered the synergy with the Nigeria educational system as crucial as most of the ongoing research works in the tertiary institutions were expected to address challenges associated with quality of service in the industry.
Danbatta, said that finding local solutions to the challenges of the industry is a policy that is very dear to the Commission and this is very much in tandem with the policy of the Buhari   administration for Nigerians to rise up and find enduring solutions to the challenges facing the country.
“Our choice has been to deliberately utilise the capacity resident in the academia and to redirect it towards getting involved in research activities that can impact on business and society leading to the development of new products and services for the entire industry.”
“We are also of the strong opinion that for an industry that has recorded globally appreciable growth over the years, contributing an average of 9 per cent to the country’s GDP, the sector has capacity to contribute to the expansion of knowledge in the academia and consequently profit from such contribution.”
According to him, “a fresh impetus has thus been added to ensure that such an engagement becomes very robust, productive and beneficial to the various stakeholders.
According to him, the enthusiastic attendance of Vice Chancellors drawn from 61 universities across the country on the advice of the National Universities Commission (NUC), and the frank discussions and contributions at our Stakeholders Forum with Academia, constantly reminds me that we are on the right track.
For a whole day, we all discussed the overriding importance of the much expected relationship between the gown and industry and how best to appropriate the products of that relationship.
“I have also been informed that we have a record response to our advert requesting for research proposals from the Academia this year. At the close of entry on July 31, we had 96 submissions, 40 more than the 56 that was recorded the previous year. I am excited at the diversity of the research topics, from core telecommunications issues to oil pipeline protection and herdsmen tracking. Telecommunications is a super infrastructure industry that addresses the concerns of other industries or put differently that facilitates growth and development of other industries.
“Our goal is to be able to use this intervention to address industry problems as well as some other societal issues that need urgent attention.
Prof Danbatta noted that the committee has a quite a huge task ahead because the research proposals increased, and so the number of documents that they have to go through has also increased.
“The other reason is that we want to give every entry a fair opportunity in the contest, meaning that the Committee members will be challenged to go through every document in order to achieve a very fair assessment of every submission.”
He enumerated the evaluation criteria that a proposal must meet to include but are not limited to the following: Clear statement and explanation of the problem; Proposed solution to the problem; Clear relevance to the telecommunication industry; Evidence of local realization up to prototype; Cost reasonableness (cost of actualizing the idea excluding furniture and allowances; Schedule of project organization; Coherent presentation/packaging of concept; and Integration of research with education (capacity building of students via the implementation of the project in the institution).
He assured them that despite the inelastic budget of the NCC due to the prevailing economic situation, the Commission remains very passionate about students getting involved in implementing proposals and being given the opportunity to contribute to develop new solutions for the telecommunications sector.

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