Prof. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, Hon. Minister for Communications and Digital Economy, at the Ongoing ITU Plenipotentiary Conference 2022 in Bucharest, Romania Photo: NCC

Nigeria re-elected as Council Member of ITU

*Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, Executive Vice-Chairman and CEO of the Nigerian Communications Commission, says the country’s re-election as a member of the International Telecommunication Union’s Council confirms its globally-recognised leadership role in Africa and at the ITU Council level in telecoms policy formulation and technical regulations development

Gbenga Kayode | ConsumerConnect

In clear recognition of the critical role the West African country is playing on the global , stage, Nigeria was re-elected Tuesday, October 3, 2022, as a Council Member of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).

ConsumerConnect reports  the ITU is the United Nations (UN) specialised agency that oversees global telecommunications operations.

Nigeria will serve on the Council again from 2023 to 2026.

Prof. Umar Umar Danbatta, Executive Vice-Chairman and CEO of NCC, casting his vote at the conference

Mr. Reuben Muoka, Director of Public Affairs at NCC, in a statement issued late Tuesday, said that the election of Nigeria and other countries, Monday, October 3, into different regional groups that constitute ITU Council, was the highpoint of the ongoing Plenipotentiary Conference 2022 (PP-22) in Bucharest, Capital city of the Republic of Romania.

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The telecoms sector regulatory Commission disclosed that Prof. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, Honourable Minister for Communications and Digital Economy, “successfully” led the Nigerian delegation led to the international event.

Other members of the delegation include Prof. Adeolu Akande, Chairman, Board of Commissioners of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), and Prof. Umar Umar Danbatta, Executive Vice-Chairman/Chief Executive Officer (EVC/CEO) of NCC.

The also said at the conference, which started September 26 and scheduled to end October 14, 2022, member-states at the event voted on the composition of the next ITU Council and the 12 representatives to serve on the Radio Regulations Board (RRB) for the next four years.

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According to the Commission, the 21st Plenipotentiary Conference of the Council, as well witnessed the election by member states, of Doreen Bogdan-Martin of the United States (US) as the organisation’s next Secretary-General.

Like Nigeria and the countries elected into the Council, Bogdan-Martin, as the first woman to lead ITU in its 157-year history, will begin her four-year term from January 2023, when Houlin Zhao would have completed his second final term of four years in office as ITU Secretary-General, noted the statement.

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It says the seats in ITU Council are divided into five regions, A to E. Nigeria was elected into the ITU Council, Region D for Africa, which has 13 seats.

Other 12 countries elected alongside Nigeria are Algeria; Egypt; Ghana; Kenya; Mauritius; Morocco; Rwanda; Senegal; South Africa; Tanzania; Tunisia; Uganda.

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Elections of member states also took place into the Region A for The Americas (nine seats); Region B for Western Europe (eight seats); Region C for Eastern Europe & Northern Asia (five seats); and Region E, for Asia and Australasia with 13 seats as Africa.

Commenting on Nigeria’s re-election as ITU Council member, Prof. Danbatta lauded the ITU member states for the confidence reposed in Nigeria as expressed by the re-election into the ITU Council.

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The country has been playing a critical role in the global telecoms body over the years, the statement said.

The NCC further noted: “The re-election of Nigeria as a member of ITU Council for the next four years, again, points to the globally-recognised leadership role Nigeria is playing in Africa and at the level of ITU Council in the area of telecommunications policy formulation and technical regulations development to drive ITU’s mission and vision.”

About ITU

The ITU, originally established in 1865 as the International Telegraph Union and became a United Nations specialised agency in 1947, was set up to coordinate telecommunications operations and services throughout the world.

The Union is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland.

Nigeria became a member of ITU November 4, 1961.

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The USA joined July 1, 1908; United Kingdom, February 24, 1871, and UAE June 27, 1972.

The ITU is governed by the Plenipotentiary Conference and the Administrative Council. The Plenipotentiary Conference is the supreme organ of the Union.

It is the decision-making body which determines the direction of the Union and its activities.

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The Council, on the other hand, acts as the Union’s governing body in the interval between Plenipotentiary Conferences.

Its role is to consider broad telecommunication policy issues to ensure that the Union’s activities, policies, and strategies fully respond to today’s dynamic, rapidly changing telecommunications environment.

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ITU Council also prepares a report on the policy and strategic planning of the body, and it is responsible for ensuring the smooth day-to-day running of the Union, coordinating work programmes, approving budgets, and controlling finances and expenditure.

The Council also takes all steps to facilitate the implementation of the provisions of the ITU Constitution, the ITU Convention, the Administrative Regulations (International Telecommunications Regulations and Radio Regulations), the decisions of Plenipotentiary Conferences, and where appropriate, the decisions of other conferences and meetings of the Union.

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