17 November 2016

Nigeria: NCC - Developing Technology Startups, Key to National Devt

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the telecoms industry regulatory body has stressed the need for Nigeria to identify and develop technology startups, who have great ideas that could effect developmental change in the country.

The Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta who stated government's commitment to develop technology startups in the country, said the idea to develop technology startups would boost accelerated national development in the country.

Danbatta told THISDAY in Bangkok, Thailand, venue of the ITU Telecoms World 2016, that NCC has a mandate to drive technology development in the country through the identification of technology innovation and improve on it for the good of the entire country, the reason, he said, prompted NCC to sponsor eight technology startups to this year's ITU conference, among whom were four Small and Medium Enterprise (SMEs). They were given the opportunity to showcase their technology solutions that cut across social services, health, eCommerce, education, medicine, telecommunications, among others.

According to Danbatta, the startups have exhibited ground breaking innovative entrepreneurial skills that would go a long way to accelerate the change that we so much desired in Nigeria.

Acceleration of innovation changes the way we do things in a more efficient way. Young Nigerians have come up with new innovation and we need to showcase them to the rest of the world, to enable them experience and invest in locally developed technologies that address specific challenges for organisations and individuals.

According to Danbatta, having identified the talents, we would collaborate with the relevant agencies of government like the National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP) and the Small and Medium Enterprise Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), to provide the relevant funding that would enable them improve on their solutions and make them commercially available within and outside Nigeria.

"We were able to discover young Nigerians with innovative ideas and we will draw collaboration through with the relevant agencies such as NOTAP and SMEDAN to assist in getting investors that will invest in their solutions," Danbatta said.

The eight technology startups who showcased their solutions before international communities at the attractive Nigeria Pavilion at this year's ITU Telecoms World in Thailand, included Chinemelum Ezekwesili, the co-Founder of Akana solution that used to access freelance designer; Awodi Friday who developed the Awodi Power Machine; Sanusi Ishmaila, who developed Colab solution used for creativity; Ifediora Ugochukwu who developed Fedironics solution for intelligent metering; Mubarak Ahmed who developed intelligent security an emergency device; Daser Retnan who developed Logical address that addresses challenges associated with locating physical addresses; Muazu Adamu, who developed Power Beta Optimiser, an electric device designed to absorb pressure on Grid and Off Grid power supply, and Bc Akin-Alabi, who developed SchoolRun, a solution that is used to track pupils when going and returning from school.

Addressing an audience of event participants and special guests which included Heads of State and Ministers, Heads of UN Agencies, Regulators and industry leaders, the Prime Minister, Kingdom of Thailand, Chan-o-cha Prayut, outlined key components of the event, including highlights of the Thailand Pavilion and the event's core focus on collaboration, the digital economy and SMEs, noting the "Thai government and ITU have placed emphasis on the cooperation of entrepreneurs, SMEs and start-up groups."

Nigeria

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