Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, Executive Vice-Chairman/CEO of NCC

Danbatta applauds media for supporting telecoms awareness in Nigeria

*Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, Executive Vice-Chairman/CEO of the Nigerian Communications Commission, describes the media systems of communication as central to social progress, and critical partners the Commission requires to succeed in consolidating the gains of telecommunications

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, Executive Vice-Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (EVC/CEO) of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC)  has said that the level of awareness of the potential of telecommunications products and services in the society is a credit to the media industry, which has partnered with the Commission in the regulatory process.

Danbatta stated this in his presentation as the Keynote Speaker at the dinner hosted by the Board of Trustees of the Nigeria Media Merit Award (NMMA), to flag-off the commemoration of the 30th Anniversary of NMMA as Africa’s foremost media excellence recognition institution, held Tuesday at the Lagos Sheraton Hotel, in Lagos.

The Commission’s EVC/CEO affirmed this is why the telecoms sector regulator holds the media in very high esteem.

Represented at the event by Mr. Reuben Muoka, Director of Public Affairs of NCC, who presented the keynote on behalf of Danbatta, the Executive Vice-Chairman sought greater collaboration with the media, describing the media systems of communication as central to social progress, and are thus, critical partners the NCC requires to succeed in its determination to consolidate the gains of telecommunications.

Speaking on the topic, “The NCC New Strategic Vision (Implementation) Plan (SVP) 2021-2025: A Transformation Agenda”, which signposts the direction of the Nigerian telecom industry in the next five years, Danbatta recalled the trajectory of the evolution of telecoms in Nigeria.

This he did with reference to the country’s showing of a paltry 18,724 telephone lines at Independence in 1960 to serve a population of 40 million people, translating to a teledensity of 0.5, to the present time (as at July 2022).

He referred to this era, when “active telecoms subscribers have grown significantly hitting 209 million from about 400,000 aggregate telephone lines in the country on the eve of concrete deregulation in the year 2000.

“This represents a teledensity of 109.47%. Besides, basic Internet subscriptions have also grown from zero in the pre-liberalisation era to over 152 million.

“It is also gratifying that the broadband subscriptions now stand at 85 million, representing a 44.49% penetration,” stated the EVC/CEO.

According to him, currently, “the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector contributed 18.44 percent to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the second quarter of 2022.

“From this figure, telecommunications sector alone contributed 15 percent.”

In highlighting the industry development further, Danbatta also acknowledged the unprecedented contribution of the telecom and ICT industry to GDP.

He spoke extensively on the policy initiatives of the Federal Government and the continued support of government as crucial to the accomplishment of the feat in the telecoms industry.

Giving an indication that the Board, Management and staff of the Commission will not rest on their oars but continue to re-engineer and promote innovations to make Nigeria to harness accruable benefits in a digital economy.

The objective of the Strategic Vision (Implementation) Plan (SVP) 2021-2025 is to consolidate the accomplishments of the Commission under the SVP 2015-2020, otherwise called The Eight Point Agenda, the forerunner of the SVP 2021-2025, noted Danbatta.

He said that the objective is take the Commission to a greater height where it will make even more superlative contributions to the national economy.

Otherwise dubbed the SVP II, the new Strategic Vision Plan 2021-2025 is designed as a transformation agenda for the Nigeria’s digital ecosystem.

The EVC further said, it is the reason the new SVP’s focal objectives are to ensure: Organisational Renewal for Operational Efficiency and Regulatory Excellence; Facilitate the Provision of Infrastructure for a Digital Economy which fosters National Development; Promote Fair Competition, Inclusive Growth, Increased investment and Innovative Services; Improve Quality of Service (QoS) for Enhanced Consumer Quality of Experience (QoE); and Facilitate Strategic Collaboration and Partnership.

According to him, the significance of telecoms as an enabler of other sectors’ growth and its centrality to achieving better quality of life by the citizens underscored the need for a renewed partnership and collaboration with all media of communication. “For the media, it means the process of news gathering, processing and dissemination will be accomplished faster, thus enabling the media to inform and educate the citizens on happenings around them more timeously, accurately, and adequately towards achieving greater socio-economic development in our country,” the EVC/CEO stated.

Several stakeholders in the media graced the occasion, including Mr. Martins Oloja, Chairman Editorial Board of The Guardian.

Among others are representatives of the government, including  Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State,  represented by Mr. Olumide Sogunle, the Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Information and Strategy; and traditional leaders, including the Makama Ringim, Alhaji Mohammed Ibrahim, who was Director General of NTA, and former Director-General of Radio Nigeria.

Alhaji Ibrahim received Special Recognition Award on the occasion.

Other guests include octogenarian veteran journalist and thespian, Dame Taiwo Ajai-Lycet, who, while taking the Vote of Thanks, particularly commended Prof. Danbatta for a very thoughtful and contextual presentation; Academics, including Prof. Stella Okunna, sub-Saharan Africa’s first female professor of Mass Communication; Alhaji Garba Kankarofi, Chief Yemi Akeju, who is Chief Administrator of NMMA.

Advertising gurus, including Senator Akin Odunsi, Sir Steve Omojafor, and Dele Adetiba; Director-General National Broadcasting Commission, Mr. Balarabe Ilelah; and many entrepreneurs, as well as other enthusiasts in the media and arts world attended the event in Lagos.

Kindly Share This Story