Prof. Umar Danbatta, the Executive Vice Chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), during the just concluded Second Stakeholders’ Forum tasked telecommunications companies on the need to fund researches and innovations as a means of improving the industry.
The Forum with the theme “Academia Acceleration for Innovation, Industry Growth and Sustainability’’. was organized to foster a better working relationship between the telecommunications companies and the Academia.
He urged telecom companies to embark on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives to drive local content development. and this they can achieve through establishing research and innovation centres in Nigerian universities, taking a cue from what NCC is doing to transform research and development.
He further noted that the telecommunications industry should encourage the funding of academia and while the academia must understand that research sponsors have a stake in the outcomes, even as their input is necessary for curriculum development. While stressing the hike in research proposals, which has also increased the budgetary allocation in order to achieve success within the sector.
Danbatta noted that NCC also recently approved a Collaborative Academia Stakeholders Meetings to discuss more on how to improve on Research and Development (R&D).
He said that apart from the involvement of the university heads, such meetings would meaningfully engage lecturers currently teaching in Nigerian tertiary institutions.
Among other notable speakers was Prof. Eghosa Osaghae, former Vice-Chancellor, Igbinedion University, Okada, who said that the country lacked what it took to embrace research and development seriously. He expressed concern that industries in the countries invest so little on R&D and the academia.
Noting “Our best brains prefer developed countries where they have immensely contributed, doing extraordinary things in science, technology and medicine, to further develop their developing receiving countries.
“The industrial sector in Nigeria has to critically re-examine itself. It must de-colonise its import-substitution orientation to be able to make use of the academia in any meaningful way,’’
NCC Executive Commissioner, Technical Services, Mr Ubale Maska while addressing the forum, stated the importance of meeting, which would help the academia play a vital role in the growth of the industry.
Maska said that the academia could produce research-oriented results that would create opportunities and add value to the industry.
Noting “This forum is one of the many initiatives of the commission that supports one the EVC’s 8-point agenda, which is “Facilitates Strategic Collaboration and partnership’’.
“With the advancement of technology and development of new ICT applications, we expect more researches in telecom and ICT related fields.
“I am very positive that discussions here will immeasurably help in improving our collaborative efforts and actions aimed at accelerating innovation, industrial growth and sustainable development of the telecommunications sector,’’.