The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has awarded N9m in research grants to three Nigerian startups that used digital solutions to contain the impact of COVID-19 pandemic in the country.

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The Commission disclosed that the selection of the three companies followed a careful evaluation and screening out of over 280 entries from Startups and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) all over the country.

In a statement, the commission said that ‘The health and economic crisis triggered by the novel COVID-19 pandemic had challenged the global ICT community to search for digital solutions to address and contain the spread of the virus. Such solutions would allow citizens and businesses to rein in the virus and continue their activities with limited disruptions.

‘As a response, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) instituted a programme to award research grants to support startups and digital SMEs with adaptable innovative digital solutions that could address present and future impacts of pandemic and epidemic-prone diseases in Nigeria.

‘Under the programme, the Commission will award Nine million naira research grants to three Nigerian startups with the most innovative digital solutions for containing pandemics and epidemics in the country in the thematic areas of health, community, productivity, economy and transportation. The highlights of the ceremony include pitching/demonstration of the top three solutions by the startups, the announcement of the winners and presentation of research prizes.

The three winners are – Messers Primed E-Health, Messers Cyberfleet Integrated Limited and Messers Elizade University.