NCC offers N6million to tech innovators
The Nigerian Communications Commissions (NCC) has offered N6 million to the three technological innovators at the three-day maiden edition of the commission’s competition and exhibition. The best and first prize of N3million was given to founder, Qatalog Automates, QMartins Fidelis; WICRYPT was awarded N2 million in the second place, while Phaheem Pharmaceuticals Limited was awarded N1 million as the third place.
The Executive Vice Chairman, NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, reiterated the commission’s commitment to promoting innovations capable of enhancing socio-economic growth in Nigeria.
Represented by the Secretary, NCC, Felix Adeoye, Danbatta said the exhibition was to bring competitors from technology hubs with novel ideas and projects to showcase their talents and innovations in ICT in order to promote tech hubs and start-ups for new breakthroughs and business delivery.
On the event theme “Promoting innovation and creativity in the telecoms sector”, the EVC said through the exhibition, the commission will assist contestants to bring their ideas to fruition and give them the platform to present their innovations to both local and global venture investors.
“We guided and helped them put the ideas into business plan to make it marketable. Our plan is to take them to the next level with the prototype, commercialise the ideas, protect their intellectual property and take it to the market,” he added.
In his keynote address, the Executive Commissioner, Technical Services, NCC, Ubale Maska, who was represented by Director, Research and Development, NCC, Ephraim Nwokonneya, said the ICT sector is a key driver of digital transformation and digital economy in Nigeria and the world over.
He added that there’s need to create a platform for the quality of brilliant ideas that Nigerians youth have to providing solutions that are bankable and viable with social impact.
According to Nwokonneya, the Federal Government had recently adopted a digital economic framework that will fast track the country’s agenda to tap from the enormous potentials of the 4th industrial revolution.
“The Commission is committed to deliver on the mandate to facilitate the development of the core pillars of digital infrastructure, digital platforms, digital skills acquisitions and digital entrepreneurship,” he stressed.
On the progress of the industry in 2019, he said: “We have done very well looking at the number of active lines now at 174 million connected lines. We are at 37 per cent for broadband connections. The telecom is still work in progress.
Tech Veteran and one of the judges, Chris Uwaje, said the specialised innovation competition was to encourage and challenge youths to do more.
“With the youth statistics that is close to 70 per cent, they are doing a lot of things that is yet to be discovered. We are in the era of digital discovery for the talents in Nigeria and Africa in general. It should not be yearly but a quarterly event because the populations to be addressed are many.
“We can then move into specialised domain where there are innovation competition for law, cyber security and other sectors,” he added.
After series and rounds of presentations, discussions as well as questions and answers sessions by the panel of judges and focusing on local content component of the innovators’ business plans, 10 best-in-class innovative ideas, were shortlisted out of the 25 tech innovators from the six geopolitical zones of Nigeria.