FG Indigenous Tech; NCC Set The Pace For Digital Development Policy

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Sponsored prototypes showcased

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has put the Federal Government’s push to encourage indigenous innovative technology in Nigeria’s telecommunications sector into action.

The NCC demonstrated this by hosting the first prototype and research exposition, which featured no less than ten prototypes resulting from its sponsored Telecommunications-Based Research Innovation Projects at Nigerian universities.

During the two-day event, held at the Commission’s Communications and Digital Economy Complex, Head Office Annex in Mbora District, Abuja, on February 21–22, 2022, the Commission selected ten prototypes for exhibition as outputs of its telecom research project.

Multiple operators’ enabled SIM, GSM communication-based walking cane robot, Powerline communications module, homegrown electrical power charger, Low-cost GSM telephone system, Wireless power transfer device, Vital sign monitor, Plastic optical fibre cable, Wearable E-band tracker, and a Software-based nomadic base station are among the top ten prototypes.

The research and prototype exposition is being implemented by the Commission as a means of encouraging the commercialization of prototypes, as an influential platform for universities, professionals, and industry experts to come together, share information, and build long-term business relationships.

Speaking at the event, Prof. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, Minister of Communications and Digital Economy stated that “the indigenous technological capabilities of Nigerians will be fully appreciated, harnessed, and utilised towards stimulating the overall productivity and sustainability of the telecommunications industry” through the NCC’s telecoms-based research and prototype exposition.

Pantami emphasized that research is recognized as an essential prerequisite for any nation’s technological progress, as well as the backbone of the communications industry, because it is the foundation for the future development of advanced telecommunications products and services. He charged mobile network operators (MNOs) with collaborating with the NCC to assist indigenous technology development in order to address future national concerns.

The Minister commended the Commission’s Board and Management for assisting in the achievement of the ambitious policy goals outlined in the National Policy for the Promotion of Indigenous Content (NPPIC) 2021. He also congratulated the recipients of the Commission’s funding for displaying prototypes that had already been produced for the benefit of industry stakeholders.

Earlier, Prof. Adeolu Akande, Chairman of the NCC Board of Commissioners, stated that the Commission will continue to offer an enabling environment to bridge the gap in the critical tripartite interaction between academia, industry, and government. He encouraged attendees to support the success of NCC’s program, as firms will arise and long-term opportunities will be available for our young graduates as a result of these new advancements.

In his remarks, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive of the NCC, reaffirmed the Commission’s commitment to acting as an active regulator to drive the indigenous content development component of the nation’s telecoms sector. The EVC emphasized the importance of strengthening Nigerians’ indigenous technological capacities through collaboration with key stakeholders.

“The Commission has given a grant to successful academic institutions to produce Working Prototype and Telecommunications-led Products capable of answering industrial needs and delivering overall sustainability, fully developed and ready for the first phase of market launch,” Danbatta said.

According to the EVC, “it is critical to have a commercialization strategy to transition from rudimentary research into the market to address local difficulties and avoid over-reliance on imported ideas and technology, with the concomitant drain on the nation’s scarce foreign money.” This is what this initiative aims to accomplish: “to leverage the full potential of academia in contributing to the steady growth of Nigeria’s telecoms industry.”

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Gbenga Elebiyo

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