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National Service Excellence Honour for Danbatta

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The National Service Excellence honour has been awarded to the Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) and CEO of Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Danbatta for his transformational leadership in deepening access to telecommunications services across the country’s state constituencies over the last five years. The National Association of State Assembly Legislators (NASAL) honoured Prof Danbatta after President Mohammadu Buhari renewed Danbatta’s mandate as chief telecoms regulator for another term of five years.

L- R: Bashir Bello, Head, Legislative and Government Relations, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC); Hon. Uchechukwu Chukwuma, Director General, National Association of State Assembly Legislators (NASAL); Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde, Director, Public Affairs, NCC; Truddy Tony-Awusaku, Principal Manager, Public Affairs, NCC; Hon. Usman Ali, Co-ordinator, North-West Zone, NASAL, during the presentation of National Award of Excellence to Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, Executive Vice Chairman/CEO, NCC by NASAL at the Commission’s Headquarters Abuja. Adidnde received the award on behalf of the EVC.

Director General of NASAL, Uchechukwu Chukwuma, who led a five-member delegation said “The award not only underscores the remarkable leadership role by Danbatta in deepening the development and growth of the telecoms sector at the grassroots but also demonstrates the pivotal role of the EVC as a change agent, a catalyst for national development and a great patriot.” A statement from the Director, Public Affairs of NCC, Dr Ikechukwu Adinde quoted, NASAL – the body of state lawmakers in the country – as saying that it has consistently monitored the activities of the Danbatta-led NCC and observed notable improvements in telecoms services across state constituencies in Nigeria.

According to the statement, “Danbatta’s efforts have manifested in enhanced access to the Internet by our people, which has given them the opportunity to participate and ventilate their views constructively. As you know, citizens’ participation in political activities are one of the attributes of an ideal democracy and Prof. Danbatta has helped to promote this idea,” Chukwuma said. The NASAL’s award to Danbatta is justified by the statistics from the Commission which showed that when Danbatta came on board five years ago, 217 access gap clusters were identified in the country, with 40 million Nigerians excluded from access to telecoms services.

Prof. Garba Danbatta.

Five years after, however, the access gaps have reduced to 114 clusters with an additional 15 million Nigerians now connected. While receiving the award on behalf of the EVC, Director, Public Affairs, NCC, Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde, who appreciated NASAL for the recognition, said the award was both an encouragement and a challenge to the EVC and his team to do more. “It is heartwarming that NASAL has found our EVC and CEO deserving of this award. The award is an acknowledgement that his accomplishments have not gone unnoticed. We at the NCC, value this gesture, which writes the history of Professor Danbatta’s achievements in a very distinctive and enduring way,” Adinde said.

Adinde amplified the justifications adduced by NASAL for recognising Danbatta, by citing various indicators that measure the performance of the telecom sector, which clearly show that the sector has been growing over the years and more impressively, in the last five years of Danbatta’s leadership. “From the recent industry statistics and other relevant macro indicators, the telecoms sector, under Danbatta, has recorded positive growth in terms of active voice subscriptions, internet subscriptions, teledensity, broadband penetration and contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP),” he said. 

While noting that the last five years of Danbatta has witnessed a number of policies that have spurred industry growth and improved service delivery, Adinde restated the EVC’s commitment to ensuring that the Commission maintains its reputation as a foremost communications regulatory organisation. 

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