Four Nigerian startups get NCC’s N20m grant

…To develop IoT for e-waste management, counter-terrorism

The Nigerian Communications Commission has given N20m grant to four Nigerian startups to develop innovative Internet of Things solutions for combating banditry and for effective e-waste management in the country.

Out of the four companies that received N5m each, two are expected to develop innovative digital solutions that will help to address the challenges of insecurity, while the other two will develop digital solutions for managing the growing e-waste in the country.

At the presentation of the grants to the winners of the 2021 NCC IoT Code Camp and Hackathon on Thursday in Abuja, the Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof Umar Danbatta, said Nigeria “is going through a phase in its quest for nation building, faced with social, environmental and security challenges such as banditry, kidnapping and militancy.”

He observed that the ugly developments kept security in the front burner of national discourse and limited socio-economic development, adding that the policy of the current administration was for Nigerians to rise up and find enduring solutions to the challenges facing the country.

According to Danbatta, the increased consumer appetite for digital services and smart devices exacerbated the challenge of e-waste management.

His words, “This has resulted in the production of tonnes of e-waste yearly, and most of them disposed in manners that constitute serious health and environmental challenges.”

The global e-waste monitor, he observed, estimates that 52.2 million metric tonnes of e-waste would be generated globally by the end of 2021, stressing that this 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

“Finding indigenous innovative solutions to the challenges of the industry and society is a policy that is very dear to me. 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 to address societal challenges. 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.”

Earlier, the Executive Commissioner, Stakeholders Management, NCC, Ubale Maska, said that “telecommunication plays a critical role in spurring innovative solutions in addressing social and environmental problems by leveraging emerging technologies to facilitate innovative services and life-changing solutions.”

But Professor of Communications, Francis Idachaba, noted that lack of early warning system had been the enabler for kidnappings, banditry and other forms of criminality in the country.

He disclosed that Clearflow Systems Nigeria had been given a N5 million grant to develop an early warning system for the security agencies.

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