NCC awards N20m grants to four innovative tech startups

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NCC awards N20m grants to four innovative tech startups

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has awarded N20 million grant to four deserving Nigerian tech startups for their novel digital solutions aimed at curbing insecurity and advancing the Internet of Things (IoT) frontier in Nigeria.

The Executive Vice-Chairman, NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, disclosed this on Thursday in Abuja in his remarks at the grand prize award ceremony for ‘Virtual NCC Internet of Things (IoT) Code Camp and Hackathon 2021’, held in the commission’s headquarters.

Two startups, namely Clearflow system Hub and Aelaus Engineering teams/Hyech Electronics solutions, focused on IoT (Internet of Things) for kidnapping and banditry.

The other two startups, Kalibotics and CyberNorth Tech, concentrated on assistive robotics for effective e-waste management.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the beneficiaries of the second edition of the startup’s awards got N5 million grant each.

Danbatta explained that the event was in line with the Commission’s Strategic Vision Plan 2021-2025, and the Nigerian Economic Sustainability Plan (NESP).

The executive vice-chairman was represented by NCC’s Director of New Media and Information Security, Alhasan Haru.

He said: “Today’s event aligns with the Nigerian Economic Sustainability Plan (NESP) 2020, which underpins the need to promote local production, local services, local innovation and the use of local materials.

“This is in line with the Mandate of the Presidential Executive Order 5 of 2017, on the Promotion of Nigerian Content in Contracts and Science, Engineering and Technology.

“The Commission’s Strategic Vision Plan 2021-2025, which captures the need to encourage the development of new technologies and indigenous content, through cutting edge research, to stimulate sustainable economic growth and development in Nigeria is demonstrated through this event.

“In this year’s Hackathon, our goal is to challenge the creativity and harness the innovative prowess of our young digital-driven population to develop Smart Solutions.

“To leverage on emerging technologies in addressing the challenges of Banditry, Kidnapping and e-waste management.”

Earlier, the NCC Commissioner, Technical Services, Mr Ubale Maska, noted that the event had demonstrated the critical role that the telecommunications sector play in addressing Nigeria’s social and environmental problems with innovative solutions.

Maska, represented by the Head, Research and Development, NCC, Kelechi Nwokwo, reiterated the commission’s commitment towards continuously supporting innovations for nation building.

He said that the aim was to develop innovative Internet Of Things (IOT) solutions for combating kidnapping and banditry, and for effective e-waste management in the country.

“At the close of entry we had 54 proposals from 34 organisations but at the end of the two-stage assessment by the panel of judges, four top startups, two from each thematic areas of Hackathon were selected to pitch.

“Four final winning digital solutions from indigenous startups,” he said.

The Chairman of Panel of Judges, Dr Uche Uwaje, said all the entries were deserving winners.

Responding, one of the winners, the CEO of Clearflow system Hub, Mr Francis Idachaba, said he would put the grant into judicious use and achieve the goal it was meant for.

Representatives from Security Agencies, telecommunications operators, National Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) and other sister agencies lauded the initiatives.

NAN recalls that NCC organised the first edition of this event in 2020, during which winners went home with N9 million worth of prizes. (NAN)

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