A female student of the University of Ilorin (UNILORIN), Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Miss Esther Oluwabukola Gbeja has emerged as the overall best in a national essay competition organized by the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC). Miss Esther was announced the best among other winners by the Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the NCC, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta on Tuesday at the Commission’s headquarters in Abuja. Speaking during the prize giving ceremony, Prof. Danbatta noted that the national essay competition was the third that the NCC has organized, and that the Commission received close to 2000 entries for the third edition won by Esther. Saying that the topic of the competition was timely, Danbatta stated that the NCC was at an important stage in the deployment of 5G technology across the country, stressing that the Commission is now ready to receive bids for 5G spectrum.Emphasizing on the deployment of 5G in the country, he reiterated that the Federal Government would gain N75 billion from its spectrum auctioning in 5 coming months. The EVC further explained that the auction was software-based, adding that provision had been made for manual auction should the auction software fail during the process.He informed that new entrants were allowed to participate in addition to existing licensees, and that only licensees with 100 per cent regulatory approval would be allowed to participate in the auction. “The NCC is at the verge of auctioning Spectrum for the provision of 5G technology and we decided to take advantage of the moment by challenging our youth to be innovative and as resourceful as their counterparts in advanced countries. The controversies surrounding COVID-19 and 5G technology are now in the past.“I want to reassure you that the economic benefits of 5G to Nigeria post-coronavirus pandemic will be huge, especially as almost all businesses and activities of the government are migrating and offering their services online. “5G will enable a new kind of network to Nigerians that is designed to connect virtually everyone and everything together including machines, objects and devices.“Nigeria’s vibrant youth population stands to benefit immensely from the deployment of 5G as it will offer technopreneurs, technology enthusiasts, SMEs and tech-startups to expand and network with other global players on a scale that has never been witnessed before,” he said. Earlier, the Chairman of the Essay Competition Committee, Mr Edoyemi Ogoh, said that the committee was guided by the commission’s guiding principles of being fair and upright in following the criteria to determine the winners.He said that one of the objectives that the commission engaged youths from tertiary institutions across the country was to challenge themselves in the understanding and problem solving imperatives as well as essential new technologies.Ogoh noted that NCC was a key stakeholder in the development and growth of the communications sector in the country.“The commission recognises the act of innovative thinking in growing the communications industry in Nigeria. “The commission engaged the youth to participate in tertiary institutions across the country to challenge themselves in the understanding and problem solving imperatives as well as essential new technologies, which is one of the objectives of the NCC in the essay competition,” he said.Esther, who came first spoke on behalf of other participants of the competition, she thanked the NCC and urged Nigerians to understand efforts of the Federal Government on the 5G technology.She also called on the NCC to come up with massive awareness creation in collaboration with diverse stakeholders and professionals in the execution of the 5G network across the country.TNG reports Nosa Moses Edosa from the University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT) emerged in second place, while Nasiru Abdulkarim from Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), a

nd Marc-Patrick Efevuriri Efeni from Nigerian Air Force Institute of Technology emerged tied in third place in the competition. Highlight of the ceremony was the presentation of prize money and awards to the winners of the competition. While Esther was presented a cheque of N500,000.00 and awarded a printer and a laptop, Nosa received a cheque of N300,000.00. Nasiru and Efeni, who tied at third place, each received a cheque of N200,000.00.

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