By Angeline Mgbele, Correspondent Abuja
More commendations have come the way of the Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer(EVC/CEO) of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Professor Umar Garba Danbatta, and the agency for “the sound leadership and regulatory focus propelling the growth of telecoms sector in Nigeria.”
Emir of Bichi, Alhaji Nasir Ado Bayero, gave the commendations while receiving the Board of Commissioners of NCC, led by its Chairman, Prof Adeolu Akande, as part of activities lined up by the Commission for its ongoing 2020 Board Retreat in Kano State, north west, Nigeria.
The Emir particularly appreciated the NCC boss for ensuring effective regulatory initiatives are in place to achieve the successes recorded in the sector so far.
During the visit, Danbatta reeled out a number of statistics that showed clearly the impressive growth of the telecoms industry, especially in the last five years.
Danbatta pointed out that in the last five years, the NCC Management had built on earlier successes recorded, noting that broadband penetration moved from 6 per cent to over 45.43 per cent; while sector’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP,) contribution rose from 8.5 per cent to 14.30 per cent while active phone subscribers grew from 151 million to over 205.2 million.
Also, basic internet subscriptions also increased from 90 million to 151.5 million; teledensity now stands at 107.53 per cent while investment in the sector has increased from US$38 billion to over US$70 billion currently.
Impressed by the statistics, the Emir noted that, as the regulatory authority of the communications industry in Nigeria responsible for creating an enabling environment for competition among operators in the industry, the Danbatta-led NCC had consistently ensured the provision of qualitative and efficient telecommunications services throughout Nigeria.
The Emir acknowledged that over the years, the Commission had earned its reputation as the foremost telecoms regulatory agency in Africa. “Your Commission has also excelled in achieving its mandate of establishing an effective licensing and regulatory framework for the supply of communications services in Nigeria,” the royal father said.
According to him, in the course of executing its mandate, the Commission had been seen to be guided by the principles of fairness and forthrightness, which had been the underpinnings of the core values of your institution, while urging the Commission to ensure that it remained the topmost regulatory agency in Nigeria and Africa.
“We are sure that the successes recorded by the Commission are as a result of sound leadership, honesty, hard work and professionalism of Prof. Danbatta and we urge to him to continue to provide quality leadership and the necessary strategic policy directions to ensure that the communications industry achieves greater heights,” he said.
The monarch, who is the Chairman of 9Mobile, one of the telecom companies in the country, also tasked the Commission to sustain its practice of regulatory excellence, while commending the EVC/CEO for his efforts in ensuring that 9mobile did not collapse during a financial crisis few years ago.
He said the NCC’s intervention saved millions of Nigerians from being rendered jobless with the attendant consequences, adding that Danbatta’s “excellent leadership and untiring efforts to ensure that competition is not undermined in telecommunications industry are highly commendable.”
Members of the board, who accompanied the Chairman and the EVC to the palace included the Executive Commissioner, Technical Services, Ubale Maska; the Executive Commissioner, Stakeholder Management, Adeleke Adewolu, Clement Baiye, Prof. Millionaire Abowei, Aliyu Abubakar, Salman Muhammed and Chief Uche Onwude.