The Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Communications Commission, Umar Danbatta, has said its commission has spent over N200 million on research and development.
Danbatta disclosed this during the prize presentation ceremony of the 2021 NCC National Essay Competition held on Tuesday in Abuja.
This was contained in a statement released by the NCC Director of Public Affairs, Ikechukwu Adinde, titled, ‘NCC has committed over N200 million to Research and Development, says Danbatta’.
At the event, Danbatta, who is also the Executive Vice Chairman of the commission, said that N200m was spent on research and development in a gear to drive innovation in the country’s telecommunications sector.
Danbatta did not specifically revealed the period within which the said amount was used, but a source in the NCC said that the money was spent between 2015 and 2021.
It was gathered that the money was spent on the institutionalisation of professorial chairs in five Nigerian varsities, award of prizes to tech startups that have made innovative contributions to the country and sponsored essay competitions targeting youths in higher institutions.
According to Danbatta, the aim of those investments, was to ensure synergy and linkages among industry, the academia and the youth.
Over 2,000 entries were received from 97 public and private tertiary institutions for the competition in which Esther Oluwabukola Gbeja, a 600-Level student of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Ilorin, was declared overall winner.
Gbeja received a cash prize of N500,000.00, a laptop, and a printer.
According to the NCC Boss, the topic for this year’s essay competition, ‘5G Technology: Opportunities and challenges’, was carefully chosen to ensure that the youths have a good understanding of the new technology.
“It is on this premise that NCC took the step to encourage Nigerian students to remain proactive and partake in the national competition that challenges students to be competitive and engage their best efforts,” he noted.