*He will consolidate achievements of the past five years – Dr. Pantami
*Danbatta will strenghten $70bn regulatory activities, says Dr. Adinde
By Angela Nkwocha
President Muhammadu Buhari has confirmed the re-appointment of Prof. Umar Danbatta as the Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).
This followed confirmation by the Senate yesterday of the nomination which renews his assignments for another five years.
The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami), who announced the re-appointment, congratulated him, saying that “Prof. Danbatta is set to consolidate the modest achievements of the past five years”.
In a statement by his Special Adviser (Media), Mrs. Suleiman Uwa, Dambatta’s next steps would be anchored on “focusing on broadband penetration, consumer protection and empowerment, efficient resource utilisation, and facilitation of fibre infrastructure deployment”.
Also in statement by the NCC’s Director of Public Affairs, Dr. Ike Adinde Danbatta was confirmed for re-appointment during the Senate plenary on Tuesday, in Abuja, following favourable consideration of the report of the Sen. Oluremi Tinubu-led Committee on Communications.
Danbatta had on Wednesday, July 15, appeared before the Senate Screening Committee, and gave impressive accounts of his stewardship as the country’s chief telecoms regulator in the last five years, Dr. Adinde stated.
The EVC’s appearance followed his nomination for re-appointment as the umpire for the telecoms industry for another five years by President Muhammad Buhari on June 5th.
Danbatta was appointed, in the first instance, for a five-year term as the EVC of NCC on August 4, 2015 and was subsequently confirmed by the Senate on November 25, 2015.
With the confirmation, Danbatta has received a vote of confidence to continue to steer the regulatory activities of the country’s over $70 billion telecommunications industry for another five years, towards fast-tracking Federal Government’s agenda on digital economy development.
According to Dr. Adinde, “Danbatta’s visionary leadership has been hinged on the NCC Strategic Vision Plan (SVP) for the fiscal years 2015-2020 which focused on the 8-Point Agenda, the effective implementation has led to impressive broadband penetration which rose from a mere 6.0 per cent in 2015 to 40.14 per cent in May, 2020.
“Active Internet subscriptions also increased from 93 million to over 141 million currently during the period.
“The number of active telephone subscribers also rose from 150 million in 2015 to 192.32 million in May 2020 with teledensity currently standing at 100.72 per cent, following the rebasing of the teledensity to 91 per cent in March, 2019”.
He added that “the increase in broadband penetration, internet usage, number of access to telephone and several other initiatives by the Commission, especially in the areas of driving tech innovations, creating employment, promoting digital inclusiveness, have helped improve the sectors’ Gross Domestic Product (GDP) contribution from 8.50 per cent in 2015 to over 11 per cent currently, with a lot of digital activities taking place in all the sectors of the economy”.
In an effort to consolidate the gains made in the telecommunications sector in line with the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy, President Muhammadu Buhari approved the reappointment of Professor Umar Garba Danbattaas the Executive Vice Chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission.
Prof. Danbatta was appointed the EVC in August 2015.
Professor Danbatta’s reappointment was based on the recommendation of the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami), with the Nigerian Communications Act, 2003.
While wishing Professor Danbatta the best, the Honourable Minister directs him to significantly improve on the overall performance of the Commission as well as ensure that adequate mechanisms are put in place to facilitate the implementation of all policies of Federal Government through the Ministry.
“Furthermore, the Honourable Minister enjoined him to ensure that the interest of telecommunication consumers, Nigerians and investors are adequately protected,” according to the Spokesperson to Minister, Uwa Suleiman (Mrs).