The Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, on Thursday rewarded some hardworking Nigerian youths with N5 million each at the Commission’s headquarters in Maitama, Abuja, for coming out topvarious innovative project.
They were the winners of grants for the 2021 NCC Internet of Things (IoT) Code Camp and Hackathon designed to reward hard work and innovation in the Nigerian ICT industry while demonstrating the impact of purposeful partnerships.
Speaking at the event, the Executive Vice Chairman, EVC/CEO of the Commission, Prof. Umar Danbatta, noted that finding indigenous innovative solutions to the challenges of the industry and society is a policy that is very dear to him as a person as well as to the Commission.
According to him, this is very much in tandem with the policy of the current administration for Nigerians to rise and find enduring solutions to the challenges facing the country.
He also noted that 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, 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 EVC further explained that the event also underpins the aspirations of pillar 8 (Indigenous Content Development and Adoption) of the Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) 2020-2030, which seeks to create conditions for iterative problem solving by indigenous technology and innovative service providers.
He said that the NCC’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.
“It is evident that our nation is currently going through a phase in its quest for nation-building, faced with social, environmental and security challenges such as banditry, Kidnapping and Militancy. These ugly developments have in recent times kept security in the front burner of our national discourse and limiting our socio-economic development,” he added.
“The challenge of e-waste management has been exacerbated by the increased consumer appetites for digital services and smart devices. This has resulted in the production of huge tons of e-waste annually and most of them are disposed of in manners that constitute serious health and environmental challenges.
“The global e-waste monitor estimates that 52.2 million metric tonnes of e-waste will be generated globally by the end of 2021. This has necessitated the need for the development of innovative solutions, for effective management and control of e-waste, to reduce the associated risk, while promoting environmental sustainability best practices.
“It was in recognition of this reality, in 2018, the Commission in the exercise of its powers in section 70 of the NCA 2003, an e-waste regulation to provide regulatory frameworks for the management and control of e-waste in the telecommunications industry was developed. This was to encourage recycling and other forms of e-waste disposals, while creating green jobs and contributing towards sustainable development.
“Innovations in telecommunications have to a large extent, provided the best link for humanity to share available solutions in navigating the social and environmental challenges. Digital transformation on the other hand has provided the opportunity for effective deployment of emerging technologies in addressing societal challenges.
“Last year, at the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Commission instituted a research Grant through virtual Hackathon for Technology Hubs, Startups and Innovation Digital SMEs in Nigeria, to develop innovative digital solutions for addressing and mitigating the present and future impacts of Epidemic and Pandemic diseases focusing on five (5) thematic areas namely: Health, Community, Productivity, Economy and Education.
“Three successful prototypes were developed from the competition:
“Smartclinic Patient Mobile App and Smartclinic Hospital Platform- A mobile and web solution app which links a Patient-based mobile health App (Smart clinic Mobile) with healthcare based Hospital information management system (Smartclinic Hospital).
“The App enables patients to view available Hospitals, schedule appointments, receive notifications when lab/X-ray results are ready and get remote consultations (when applicable) with Doctors or hospitals right from their homes. The App also includes a COVID-19 self-assessment feature, hospital registration and instant consultations features.
“Klassconnect web portal for eLearning. A modern learning aggregate software that facilitates learning between lecturer and students through a seamless interface.
“Its features harmonises academic activities such as subjects, grading and assessment system, forum and announcement session, electronic library, and school election portal; and
Temperature Scanner- eHealth solution for infection prevention and control of pandemic and epidemic-prone diseases. The device helps in automatic temperature screening and contact tracing of persons with a body temperature above normal levels for humans.
“It sends user’s temperature, name, sex, staff number to a remote database/web interface accessible to health officials.
“Encouraged by the successes recorded from that modest effort, the Commission as a key enabler in the ICT innovation space is currently accelerating the adoption of these solutions in selected health and academic institutions across the six (6) geo-political zones of the country.
“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 leveraging emerging technologies in addressing the challenges of Banditry, Kidnapping and e-waste management.
“I understand that the winning Startups have come up with promising innovative digital solutions that will serve as a force booster in the fight against crime and criminality, as well as assistive robotics technologies for effective e-waste management.
“Ladies and gentlemen, the event of today boldly demonstrates the Commission’s resolve to champion the efforts of government, to leverage telecommunications-based solutions, to address societal issues that need urgent attention while being mindful of our roles as mandated by the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) 2020 – 2030.
“Finally, let me extend my profound congratulations and encouragement to the winners of this competition. They have shown that all our efforts to become part of the global digital innovation stage are yielding fruits and we do hope that these innovations will be bankable and marketable to the local, national and international market places.”