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

Credible journalism critical to sustainable democratic culture in Nigeria –NCC EVC

*Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, Executive Vice-Chairman and CEO of the Nigerian Communications Commission, applauds  the media professionals covering telecoms sector for supporting the Commission in adequate coverage of its successes in consumer protection, infrastructure improvement, adoption of new technologies, including launch of 5G networks, among others

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

As the campaigns and build-up to the 2023 General Elections thicken in the country, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, Executive Vice-Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (EVC/CEO) of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), has said that the media holds the ace in making a difference in promoting credible elections.

ConsumerConnect reports Prof. Danbatta told the gathering of the cream of Nigerian editors at the 18th All-Nigeria Editors’ Conference, organised by the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE), at the Concord Hotels, in Owerri, Imo State.

The EVC/CEO of the telecoms regulatory Commission, at the forum with the Governor (Sen.) Hope Uzodinma of Imo State in attendance, reiterated the importance of the roles of the journalists before, during, and after the 2023 Elections.

Danbatta, in his goodwill to the conference, delivered by Mr. Reuben Muoka, Director of Public Affairs at NCC, also expressed the confidence that the vibrant Nigerian media, credited with its sterling performance from the history of struggle for the country’s political Independence, when nationalists, who were good journalists made “brilliant and courageous outing”, would work in the interest of the country.

On theme of the conference, “2023: Political Landscape, Credible Elections and the Role of the Editors”, Danbatta declared that good journalism is critical to sustainable democratic culture as political stability is enhanced by conduct of successful elections.

L-R: Nnenna Ukoha, Head of Corporate Communication at NCC; Mr. Mustapha Isa, President of NGE; Mr. Reuben Muoka, Director of Public Affairs at NCC; and Dr. Omoniyi Ibietan, Head of Media Relations of the Commission, in Owerri, Imio State

Danbatta noted he “believes the editors will leave the conference with resolutions setting clear, unambiguous and very robust parameters to guide the role of the media in the forthcoming elections in a fair, objective and balanced manner.”

He stated: “Beyond and above the traditional routine role of the media in information-sharing, education and entertainment, the media is a social agency constitutionally charged to watch those of us in public office from derailing from the pursuit of the social contract and the social good.

“No other agency of the civil society is so positioned to influence social progress.”

The Commission’s EVC/CEO as well informed the gathering that the Commission is dedicated to the implementation of the Nigerian National Broadband Plan (2020-2025), and the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (2020-2030), among other regulatory instruments, with a view to enhancing connectivity and social cohesion in the country.  Befitting infrastructure, including the upcoming 5G spectrum auction, are all aimed at improving availability and accessibility and affordability, Danbatta said.

According to him, there is no doubt that the availability of telecommunications infrastructure will enhance credibility of elections.

Danbatta, specifically, expressed gratitude to the Nigerian media for trusting the NCC and supporting its efforts at fulfilling its mandate right from the beginning of the transition from “state-dominated telecommunication operations to a deregulated, more liberalised market.”

The EVC/CEO recalled that NCC’s friendship and partnership with the media have been very mutually-fruitful, as the Commission has leveraged the media for increased awareness by the public of NCC’s activities, programmes and achievements.

Danbatta commended the journalists covering the telecoms sector as well as other communication professionals for supporting the Commission all the way by giving adequate and prominent coverage to its successes in consumer protection, improvement in infrastructure, adoption of new technologies, most recently, the launch of the Fifth Generation (5G) networks, and reportage of challenges facing the telecoms industry in Nigeria.

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