The Nigerian Senate officially confirmed the nomination of Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta for reappointment in plenary session in Abuja, yesterday, Tuesday, July 21, 2020.
It will be recalled that Danbatta had, on Wednesday, July 15, 2020, appeared for screening, before the Senate Screening Committee, which found him qualified to run another 5-year term as the Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Communications Commission, (NCC).
What were these qualities that swung it in favour of Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta before the Senate?
While delivering the report of Senator Oluremi Tinubu-led Senate Committee on Communications that screened Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, Senator Opeyemi Bamidele gave some insights into these lofty qualities, such as performance, competence, experience, qualification, etc.
“Preliminary checks did not receive any record of indictment against the nominee, by any administrative or judicial panel or court of law, for abuse of office criminal offence.
Given his modest performance in his first 5-year tenure, the nominee is deemed to deserve another 5-year term, to consolidate on the gains recorded so far”, Senator Bamidele stressed.
“The committee, after exhaustive deliberations and scrutiny of the curriculum vitae and other supportive documents of the nominee and having been satisfied with his qualifications, experience, suitability, competence and ability in communications regulatory matters, hereby, recommend that the Senate do confirm the nomination of Engr. Prof Umar Garba Danbatta for reappointment as the EVC/CEO of NCC”, Senator Bamidele concluded.
Danbatta was appointed, in the first instance, for a 5-year term in office as the NCC’s Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, on August 4, 2015 and was subsequently confirmed by the Senate on November 25, 2015.
With the Senate confirmation, Danbatta has received a vote of confidence, to continue to steer the regulatory activities of the countries over $70 billion telecommunications industry, for another five years towards fast-tracking Federal Government agenda on digital economy development.
Danbatta’s visionary leadership has been hinged, on NCC’ Strategic Vision Plan, (SVP), for the fiscal years 2015-2020, focused on the 8-Point Agenda, the effective implementation of which has led to impressive broadband penetration, which rose from a mere 6.0% in 2015 to 40.14% in May, 2020.
Some of the other achievements of Danbatta, during his first 5 years as EVC/CEO of NCC, include active Internet subscriptions, increasing 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%, following the rebasing the teledensity to 91% in March 2019.
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% in 2015 to over 11% currently, with a lot of digital activities, taking place in all the sectors of the economy.
Professor Danbatta is set to consolidate the modest achievements of the past five years, by focusing on broadband penetration, consumer protection and empowerment, efficient resource utilisation and facilitation of fibre infrastructure deployment.
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