The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has said a concrete blueprint that will entrench research and development in the telecommunications industry in terms of curriculum development to produce industry-ready graduates and technology entrepreneurs is imperative to shape the future.
The executive vice chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta stated this during the inauguration of a 27- member inter-agency committee at the commission’s headquarters in Abuja and called on critical stakeholders in the manufacturing and telecommunications sector to prioritise research as a panacea to challenges facing the industry.
“We hope to see a road map, which will empower citizens to be able to protect themselves from cybercrimes as well as assist telecoms operators to come up with new ideas and services that will enrich telecoms offerings in the country. The result of research and development will be showcased to stakeholders in the industry including those that will be interested in our research and development.
“This is so that we can finally translate an important provision of the communications act in the area of manufacturing into reality. There is no manufacturing taking place in this country and it is the responsibility of NCC to drive either the revival of the sector or to finally translate it into reality by having in place a vibrant telecoms manufacturing sector.
“So, on our part, we are also included in the National University Commission and the National Board for Technical Education, two important regulators, one for the Nigerian university system, the other one for the technical and allocations,’’ he said.
Earlier in his welcome address, the director, research and development at NCC, Ephraim Nwokonneya, reminded the audience at the inauguration that the event underscored NCC’s firm belief in the power of collaborative efforts and partnerships across the spectrum of key stakeholders as critical partners in the telecom industry’s future growth and sustainability.
“We would be leveraging on the rich knowledge, resources, skills, experience and expertise of the carefully selected committee members in order to realise the set objectives,” he added.
In his response, the chairman of the committee, Elijah Omizegba, reiterated that the mandate of the committee was primarily to enhance the growth of the telecommunications sector and drive in the future policy of telecommunications in Nigeria.
Omizegba, a professor of control and system engineering at the Abubakar Tafawa Belewa University, Bauchi, said the commission gave them three months to complete the assignment.
He advised that Nigeria should not be a consumer nation, instead, it should channel its wealth of ideas and resources in the country to the development of the country.
“We are putting one or two things in place to make sure that this can be done. We have a platform already created where members can make their own input.
“Those things are going to be put in the final document and the commission will use it to drive the research as desired,” he added.