In a resolute move to promote homegrown innovative technologies in Nigeria’s telecommunication sector, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has taken concrete steps to bring the government’s vision to fruition.

To showcase the outcomes of its sponsored Telecommunications-Based Research Innovation Projects in Nigerian universities, the NCC organized the inaugural prototype and research exposition, unveiling an impressive array of 10 prototypes.

From February 21 to 22, 2022, the event took place at the Commission’s Communications and Digital Economy Complex, Head Office Annex in Mbora District, Abuja. During the two-day exposition, the NCC handpicked and exhibited the top 10 prototypes resulting from its telecom research initiative.

The showcased prototypes encompassed a diverse range of cutting-edge technologies, including a multiple operators’ enabled SIM, a GSM communication-based walking cane robot, a powerline communications module, a home-grown electrical power charger, a low-cost GSM telephone system, a wireless power transfer device, a vital sign monitor, a plastic optical fiber cable, a wearable E-band tracker, and a software-based nomadic base station.

By organizing this research and prototype exposition, the Commission seeks to encourage the commercialization of these prototypes and provide a pivotal platform for universities, professionals, and industry experts to converge, exchange information, and forge enduring business relationships.

In his address, formal Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Professor Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, underscored the significance of the NCC’s telecoms-based research and prototype exposition. He expressed his belief that through this initiative, the indigenous technological capabilities of Nigerians would be fully recognized, harnessed, and leveraged to invigorate the overall productivity and sustainability of the telecommunications industry.

Pantami emphasized the crucial role of research in technological advancement, considering it the bedrock of the communications industry. Research serves as the cornerstone for the future development of advanced telecommunications products and services. In this regard, he called upon mobile network operators (MNOs) to collaborate with the NCC in supporting the development of indigenous technologies that can address national challenges in the future.

The Minister commended the NCC’s Board and Management for their efforts in realizing the ambitious policy targets outlined in the National Policy for the Promotion of Indigenous Content (NPPIC) 2021. He also expressed his gratitude to the grant recipients for exhibiting the prototypes they had already developed, thereby disseminating knowledge among industry stakeholders.

Professor Adeolu Akande, the Chairman of the NCC’s Board of Commissioners, affirmed the Commission’s commitment to fostering an enabling environment that bridges the gap between academia, industry, and government. Akande encouraged participants to lend their support to the NCC’s initiative, highlighting that this endeavor would create business opportunities and sustainable jobs for young graduates.

The Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive of the NCC, Professor Umar Garba Danbatta, reiterated the Commission’s determination to fulfill its role as an active regulator, driving the development of indigenous content in Nigeria’s telecoms sector. Danbatta stressed the importance of building the technological capacities of Nigerians through partnerships with relevant stakeholders.

Danbatta declared, “The Commission has awarded grants to successful academic institutions to develop Working Prototypes and Telecommunications-led Products capable of addressing industry needs and providing overall sustainability, fully developed and ready for the first phase of market entry.” He further emphasized the necessity of formulating a commercialization strategy to transition from basic research to market implementation, thereby addressing local challenges and reducing the country’s reliance on imported innovations and technologies, which strain its limited foreign exchange reserves. The program aims to unleash the full potential of academia in contributing to the steady growth of Nigeria’s telecoms industry.


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