NCC sup­ports com­mer­cially-vi­able in­no­va­tions

The Punch - - INFORMATIO­N TECHNOLOGY -

The Nige­rian Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Commission has re­warded three start-ups that demon­strated their abil­ity to de­velop com­mer­cial­lyvi­able in­no­va­tions to solve Nige­ria’s chal­lenges.

A start-up based in Kano State, Pha­heem Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal Lim­ited, emerged as the sec­ond run­ner-up and was re­warded with N1m for devel­op­ing a de­vice that con­verts foot­steps into elec­tric­ity.

At the NCC An­nual Emerg­ing Tech­nolo­gies Re­search ICT In­no­va­tion Com­pe­ti­tion/ Ex­hi­bi­tion held at Dig­i­tal Bridge In­sti­tute in La­gos, Wicrypt emerged as first run­ner-up and was re­warded with N2m for devel­op­ing a plat­form that al­lows peo­ple to share their In­ter­net data in ex­change for money.

Qat­a­log, a start-up that au­to­mates and dis­trib­utes ed­u­ca­tional con­tents across 54 African coun­tries clinched the first po­si­tion and was re­warded with N3m.

The commission said the com­pe­ti­tion was or­gan­ised to bring to­gether com­peti­tors from tech­nol­ogy hubs with novel ideas/pro­jects that met the re­quired cri­te­ria to pos­i­tively im­pact the devel­op­ment of Nige­ria telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions in­dus­try and sup­port the growth of the econ­omy.

In his key­note ad­dress, NCC’S Executive Vice Chair­man, Prof. Umar Dan­batta, stated that the ex­hi­bi­tion aimed to achieve the commission’s com­mit­ment to pro­mot­ing ICT in­no­va­tion and in­vest­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties, pro­vide pos­si­ble sup­port to the growth of Tech­nol­ogy hubs within the six geopo­lit­i­cal zones of the coun­try.

Dan­batta, who was rep­re­sented by Commission’s Sec­re­tary, Felix Ade­boye, added that the commission would as­sist contestant­s to bring their ideas to fruition, find the best busi­ness in­no­va­tions that had po­ten­tial to suc­ceed in the com­mer­cial en­vi­ron­ment, and pro­vide op­por­tu­nity for them to present their plans to both lo­cal and global ven­ture cap­i­tal­ists.

he added that the fo­rum would help fos­ter busi­ness in­no­va­tion and en­trepreneur­ship; build­ing peo­ple-to-peo­ple ties; and re­spond­ing to na­tional chal­lenges us­ing ICT.

Sim­i­larly, the Executive Com­mis­sioner, Tech­ni­cal ser­vices, NCC, Ubale Maska, noted that the ICT sec­tor had be­come the key driver of dig­i­tal trans­for­ma­tion and dig­i­tal econ­omy glob­ally.

“We also ap­pre­ci­ate the fact that the rapidly evolv­ing com­mu­ni­ca­tion tech­nolo­gies could be­come a means of bridg­ing the dig­i­tal di­vide and achiev­ing the dig­i­tal econ­omy agenda, while en­sur­ing ubiq­ui­tous con­nec­tiv­ity and pro­vid­ing Nige­rian con­sumers with a plethora of ser­vices that could change our eco­nomic lives for the bet­ter,” he said.

Maska, in his wel­come ad­dress, posited that Nige­ria is not left out in the emerg­ing tech­nol­ogy race.

Ac­cord­ing to him, the NCC is com­mit­ted to en­sur­ing that the se­lected ideas are in­cu­bated and hand­held to the point of com­mer­cial­i­sa­tion.

“We have no doubt in our minds that home­grown in­no­va­tions and so­lu­tions in ICT sec­tor, would pro­vide in­com­men­su­rable ben­e­fits to the devel­op­ment of Nige­ria with a mul­ti­plier ef­fect on job and wealth cre­ation across in­dus­tries,” Maska added.

“It is our hope that this reg­u­la­tory ini­tia­tive, will serve as an in­spi­ra­tion and pro­vide an av­enue for the em­pow­er­ment of the in­no­va­tors who hold the key to un­lock­ing the po­ten­tial for lo­cal con­tent devel­op­ment in the Nige­rian ICT sec­tor while striv­ing to­wards the de­sired dig­i­tal econ­omy in Nige­ria.”

Dur­ing his pre­sen­ta­tion on busi­ness plan devel­op­ment, in­no­va­tion com­mer­cial­i­sa­tion and In­tel­lec­tual Prop­erty Pro­tec­tion, Prof. Fran­cis Idachaba of the Depart­ment of Elec­tri­cal & In­for­ma­tion En­gi­neer­ing, Covenant Univer­sity, Ota, Ogun State, em­pha­sised that patents- en­abled own­ers reap from the ben­e­fits of their ideas.

• L–R: Non-executive Director, Al­pha Mead Devel­op­ment Com­pany, Mrs Adetoun Ak­in­tunde; Chair­man, Mu­tiu Su­monu; Group Man­ag­ing Director, Mr Femi Ak­in­tunde; and Man­ag­ing Director, Mr Damola Akin­dolire, dur­ing the open­ing of Lekki Pearl Es­tate in La­gos… re­cently. Photo: AMDC

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