By Ayoni M. Agbabiaka
Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has stated that it spent over N200 for the promotion of research and development (R&D) in order to drive innovation in the country’s telecommunications sector.
The Commission has also dished out over N1m to students in the NCC’s 2021 National Essay Competition. Executive Vice Chairman Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) Prof Umar Garba Danbatta stated this during the 2021 NCC National Essay Competition prize presentation ceremony held at Headquarters in Abuja on Tuesday.
At the event which marked the 3rd edition of the annual competition organised by the Commission, the EVC said the Commission has invested modestly in research grants, instituted professorial chairs in universities across the country, supported tech start-ups, and sponsored national essay competitions and many more social investments in order to ensure synergy and linkages among industry, the academia and the youth.
Over 2,000 entries were received from 97 public and private tertiary institutions for the competition in which Esther Oluwabukola Gbeja, a 600-Level student of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Ilorin, was declared overall winner.
Gbeja received a cash prize of N500,000.00, a laptop, and a printer; while the first runner-up, Moses Nosa Edosa, a final year student of Accounting at the University of Port Harcourt, received a cash prize of N300,000.00 only.
Two second runners-up emerged from the competition to pick the third prize. MarcPatrick Efevuriri Efeni, a 200-Level student of Cybersecurity at the Airforce Institute of Technology, Kaduna; and Nasiru Abdul Karim, a 400-Level student of Computer Engineering at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, both came third having scored same number of points. They both received cash prizes of N200,000 each.
The EVC said “NCC gladly accommodated the additional prize due to the tie in the third place, as a mark of encouragement.”According to Danbatta, the topic for this year’s essay competition, “5G Technology: Opportunities & challenges,” was carefully chosen to ensure that the youths have a good understanding of the new technology.
He said Nigeria’s vibrant youth populace stands to benefit massively from the deployment of 5G technology, which the Commission is set to launch in 2022. He said the Commission initiated and has maintained the annual essay competition to stimulate the interest of Nigerians especially the young people, to contribute to efforts in driving innovation in the technological ecosystem of Nigeria.
“It is on this premise that NCC took the step to encourage Nigerian students to remain pro-active and partake in the national competition that challenges students to be competitive and engage their best efforts,” he said.