The Nigeria Communication Commission (NCC) said it has begun directing fund to encourage innovation by boosting research and development in universities across the country.
It said Nigeria universities were making progress in Information and Communication Technology research and development.
Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, executive vice chairman of the NCC, stated this in Benin City at a round table with the Academia, Industry and other stakeholders in the South South.
Prof. Danbatta said the Commission would make commitment to the success of the industry and also facilitate the contributions from academia as well as ensure sustainability and economic growth.
Danbatta challenged the academia to study the impact of various practices and issues peculiar to the Nigerian operating environment on the operational efficiency, service delivery capability and performance by telecommunications industry players.
According to him, “The telecom industry has grown for the past 17 years and there is still room for further growth.
“We want to stimulate research using the academia. We will look at those growth opportunities. This is more like opening an avenue for collaborative effort geared towards research that could grow the industry to the next level.
“This is the first self step towards identifying those research topic and find a costing on what is required.”
Prof Faraday Orhumwense, Vice Chancellor of the University of Benin, said the academia was ready to help transform Nigeria from a consuming state to an industrial state.
Represented by the Deputy VC, Administration, Prof. Jacob Ehiorobo, Orhumwense said the NCC has set the pace for the industry and the gown to collaborate.
His words, “The telecommunication industry is dominated by foreigners. I think we should be able to train technical personnel that should be able to function and produced spare parts for the country instead of relying on products from all over the world.
“It is time we become self reliant in producing spare parts. We are changing the focus of our students not just on theoretical research but productive and adaptable research that will become of use to the industry.”
Prof. Eghosa Osaghae who delivered a lecture at the round table said the telecom industry should stop seeing the academia as simpy consumers and clients.