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Unilorin Graduate Is NCC Prize Winner

By Afis Olawale Odeyemi, Report From The Unilorin
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Abdulhakeem Abdullkareem of the University of Ilorin (UNILORIN) has emerged winner of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) nationwide essay contest. In Abuja, Abdulhakeem alongside other prize winners were awarded in a grand style. Olawale Odeyemi, 400 Level History and Abdulazeez Muh’d Bashir, 300 Level Law (University of Ilorin) was there.

That the University of Ilorin has remained at the forefront of excellent performance in the comity of institutions of higher learning as well as among sister institutions in Nigeria is no longer news, the news is that products of the institution have continued to lead excellently by example among their young contemporaries the world over.

By the success of her own product, Abdulhakeem Abdulkareem at the just concluded Nigerian Communications Commissions (NCC) nationwide essay prize contest, the University of Ilorin has undoubtedly added another cap to her gallery of medals. Abdulhakeem, a product of the University of Ilorin is 1st runner up prize winner at the keenly contested essay; he is currently undergoing the one year mandatory National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) exercise in the Northern region of Nigeria having completed his four years undergraduate course from the department of History and International Relations, University of Ilorin.

To commemorate the prize giving day which was staged at the NCC Conference center, Headquarters, Maitama, Abuja , a summary presentation of the essay was granted to each of the 3 major prize winners on the topic: ‘BROADBAND; A CATALYST FOR NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT’ at the grand event.

In his presentation, Abdulhakeem attempted to defined broadband beyond the general clinch that sees it as a mere internet experience where users can access the most demanding content in real time at a minimum of 1.5bits/s. He did well to analyze how broadband services can help improve way of life of developing countries of the world but with major emphasis on the African continent.

For Chijioke, “The chief problem of Nigeria’s economy at the moment is a large-scale unemployment. Broadband has the capacity of solving unemployment problem of the country. This is because widespread availability of broadband allows more flexible working patterns, opening up new employment opportunities. Those who will benefit most are those who go into entrepreneurship”, he suggested.

In his own presentation, Onyebuchi, the overall prize winner likened the significant importance of broadband to an effective web of connection between people, information and services. To him; “Because broadband networks have the potential to contribute so much to economic development, they should be widely available at affordable prices and should be an integral part of national development strategy.”

In a breakdown statistics of entries received by the unit, the Commission’s director of publicity; Messrs. Tony Ojobo disclosed how assessment and plagiarism check was carried out on all participants that scored 70% and above and in the end, only the 3 current prize winners emerged the distinguished among the 639 entries the exercise recorded. However, the Commission in his magnanimity decided to reward 7 participants with consolation prize wherein the University of Nigeria, Nsukka dominated also in the category, with a total of 3 out of 7prizes.

The winners are; Odonoekuma Onyebuchi Ekuma, University of Nigeria, Nsukka (1st prize winner), Abdulhakeem Abdulkareem Ibrahim, University of Ilorin, Unilorin (2nd prize winner), and Asogwa Chijioke Peter, University of Nigeria, Nsukka (3nd prize winner). A consolation prize of 50,000 naira each goes to: University of Nigeria, University of Port Harcourt, Federal University of Technology, Minna and the University of Lagos, Akoka-Yaba.

The first prize was a cash prize of 500,000 naira, a laptop and a printer. The second prize was a cash prize of 300,000 naira, and a laptop, while a cash prize of 200,000 naira and a laptop went to the third prize winner. Abdulhakeem is the only prize winner from the University of Ilorin; Kwara State, other two winners are Medical undergraduates at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. To this end, Mr. Tony Ojobo advised the winners to be more diligent in their studies as well as encouraged them to share the knowledge garnered from the research of the topic to their fellow students.

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) is the independent National Regulatory Authority for the telecommunications industry in Nigeria. The commission is responsible for creating enabling environment for competition among operators in the industry as well as ensuring provisions of qualitative and efficient telecommunications services throughout the country. Over the years NCC has earned a reputation as a foremost telecom regulatory agency in Africa. The commission is hoping to catalyze the use of ICT’S for different aspect of national development. The Commission has initiated several programs such as State Accelerated Broadband Initiative (SABI) and Wire Nigeria Project (WIN) to help stimulate demand and help accelerate the uptake of ICT tools and services necessary for the enthronement of a knowledge society in Nigeria.

In order to activate its mandate, the Commission has put in place the necessary licensing and regulatory framework for the supply of telecommunications services. Her vision is to be a responsive, world-class Communications Regulatory Organization and her mission is to support a market driving Communications industry and promote universal access.

In his remark, the Executive Vice Chairman (EVC/CEO) of the Commission, Professor Umar Danbatta has disclosed that his vision for the NCC is to ensure the development and hosting of broadband services in major cities and then use the intervention service of the Commission to ensure final deployment to areas that are undeserved. In his words: “The broadband infrastructure is still in its formative stage and non-existence in some places. As a professor who has supervised projects closely related to Quality of Service (QoS), I intend to bring together the experience in ensuring that QoS improves. I can do this in many ways, I can invite those students who conducted research related to QoS to come in and see how we can use their experiences. Let us see whether even in a pilot scheme we can use these research and development from the universities since there's a disconnect; people in a laboratory sit down in obscure places to do research and development. I will serve as a bridge between the industry, the Commission and the universities.”

Speaking to campus correspondent, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ilorin, Professor Abdulganiyu Ambali was represented at the occasion by Sub-Dean of the Students, Dr. A. Yusuf has lauded the initiative of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) under the leadership of the EVC for bringing broadband services to the grass-root level by a way of creating enabling environment for sound youthful minds to thrive. The Vice-Chancellor congratulated the winners for their brilliant performances and also encouraged other Nigerian youth to borrow a leaf from the young achievers.

Key personalities at the prize include the Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) of the Commission, Professor Umar Danbatta, the Director, Public Constitution and Analysis, Mrs Aruwa, the Vice President, Regulatory & Corporate Affairs, Etisalat, Messrs Ibrahim Dikko, the Director Public Affairs, Messrs Tony Ojobo, the Director Licensing and Authorization, Nigerian Communications Commission, MTN representative, Corporate Services Executive, Aminah Oyagbola, Senior Manager Government Relations-MTN, Messrs Austin Enyasere as well as the Vice-Chancellor, University of Ilorin, Professor Abdulganiyu Ambali ably represented by his Sub-Dean Students Affairs, Dr. A. Yusuf.