The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has given out N65 million to 11 universities in Nigeria to boost the telecommunication sector.

Prof. Umar Danbatta, Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, made this known at the presentation of award letters to the winning universities.

Danbatta said that the award was in recognition of the role of the Academia in the development of the sector that the commission instituted the research grant project.

He said that under this project, tertiary institutions submit detailed and well thought out research proposals to the commission for innovative use of telecommunication to solve, national problems.

“These proposals, which are varied, result in the development of commercially viable prototypes.

“For the 2018 financial year, the commission received 63 research proposals and after stringent evaluations 11 proposals were found to have met the set criteria.

“This is a clear testimony of the objectivity and complexity of evaluation process in ensuring that best quality is achieved and the researches are such that will produce prototypes with the potential of providing solutions to both local and global challenges.

“Danbatta said that the commission had set out clear terms and conditions for the grants and it is expected that awardees abide by all terms of the award.

“In addition, we wish to provide a word of caution, that you are not, under any circumstance expected to showcase the work or the prototype to anybody or organisation or at any exhibition.

“Until the commission has received the final prototype and signed off on it and we will always show concern to the quality relevance and efficiency of the product we want to push into the industry.

“l look forward to being here again to receive you as you demonstrate to the commission and selected industry stakeholders the modalities for the use of your prototype that will result from this collaborative effort of the commission.

On his part,  Mr Ephraim Nwokonneya, Director, Research and Development NCC, said that the award was the commission’s determination to facilitate research and innovation in the Telecom industry in Nigeria.

Nwokonneya said that the issue of formal letters of award of grants to experts in the academia, who had given a clear evidence of their capability to make success of their chosen research themes.

“That is capable of adding value in our industry and other sectors of Nigeria economy.

“Since we started this project some years ago, some of the research experts have succeeded in delivering research result and prototypes that are implementable and viable.

“The beneficiaries of the 2018 award of research grant in the academia emerged out of a very competitive selection process.