The EVC NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta receiving the Award from the Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu.
The Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Professor Umar Danbatta was named the Telecom Personality of the Year at the Nigerian Telecoms Awards which held in Lagos at the weekend.
Organisers of the event said Danbatta was so honoured, for his outstanding performance in steering regulatory activities at the NCC in less than one year in office.
The organisers claimed that within this period he has not only consolidated the regulatory authority and leadership of the commission in Africa but has entrenched a system of operation where even the operators accord strict adherence to corporate governance.
The telecom industry, according to them, has also seen tremendous growth within the period he assumed office to the extent that telecom alone has contributed up to N1.4trillion in the first quarter of 2016, going by statistics from the National Bureau of Statistics, NBS.
Meanwhile, this is even when other sectors are suffering from stunted growth
Earlier before receiving his award, Danbatta remarked that “in a period where Africa is burdened by poverty and debts, telecommunications has become one of the key sources of improving the GDP of the African economies.
He confirmed that “Currently, Telecom and ICT contributes up to 10% of Nigeria’s GDP. Just three days ago, I mentioned to the Governor of Kano State, Alhaji Umar Ganduje during a courtesy call, that the recent report of the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has put the contributions of the telecommunications sector to the GDP at N1.4 Trillion in the first quarter of 2016.
This is a positive indication that more investments, more deployments and more economic activities around the sector will continue to impact positively in the sector. However, it was good reason for various agencies of government, and governments at all levels in Africa, to show greater understanding and support for to the quest by various regulators in Africa to improve the telecommunications environment.
“I will not fail to mention the global expectations of the impacts of broadband and efforts by various countries to achieve fast deployment of broadband infrastructure. We all know that Broadband is an enabler of other economic and human activities. The World Bank and the International Telecommunications Union, ITU, have made recommendations about broadband that cannot be ignored by any progressive telecom regulator�?.
IfeHe also said that the Broadband Commission, while emphasizing the importance of broadband for future economic development of every nation, referred to the World Bank research that indicates that, “for high-income countries, a 10-percentage-point rise in broadband penetration adds a 1.21-percentage point rise in economic growth – or an added 1.38 percentage points for low- and middle-income countries. This is more than any other type of communication service�?.
For him, “this is one of the reasons why broadband is on the top of the 8-Point Agenda of the Nigerian Communications Commission under my leadership�?.
The high-profile event which is in its twelfth edition, had in attendance an array of notable personalities and key players from the Nigerian ICT eco-system.