The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) won this year’s Nigeria Tech Innovation and Telecoms Awards (NTITA), 2020.
The Commission was recognized for the critical role it is playing under the leadership of its Executive Vice President, Prof. Umar Danbatta, in advancing the frontiers of broadband development in the country.
Billed as the Oscars of the Nigerian telecommunications industry, the awards, powered by Instinctwave, Africa’s leading business-to-business event organizer in collaboration with the Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON) in Abuja on weekend, they saw the Commission and other interested industries, including the Hon. The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, won distinguished awards.
Along the same lines, Prof. Danbatta was honored with “Broadband Oxygenator of the Year” for his outstanding role and commitment to the development of broadband infrastructure to support the momentum of the country’s digital economy, while NCC , as a corporate organization, received the “Outstanding Contribution to Boost the Award of the Year for Greater Broadband Penetration”
Through the articulation of a Strategic Vision Plan (SVP) for fiscal years 2015-2020, symbolizing focused leadership, Danbatta is said to have been instrumental in broadband penetration, which increased 6 percent in 2015 to 45.43 in September 2020.
Also under his supervision, the basic active Internet subscription grew from 90 million to 143.7 million, while the active voice subscription increased from 151 million to 205.25 percent during the same period and teledensity also reached 107, 53 percent at the end of September 2020.
Similarly, in the last five years, the number of Licensed Infrastructure Companies (InfraCo) has increased from two in 2015 to six today. The InfraCos will deploy broadband infrastructure, on a wholesale basis, in the 774 local government areas in Nigeria.
Additionally, the Commission is currently reviewing InfraCo’s licensing framework to ensure sustainable financing options for the effective implementation of the proposed national fiber project to increase broadband penetration to the target of 70 percent, according to what is established in the new national broadband plan for 2025.
The ongoing review of the InfraCo framework is to address take-off delays, exchange rate change, supply chain and other challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic with respect to InfraCo implementation.
The NCC and Danbatta recognitions at NTITA 2020 were also based on the increase in the telecom sector’s contribution to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) from 8.5 percent in 2015 to 14.30 percent as of the second quarter of 2020, which which translates to N2.272 trillion in financial value.
In the past five years, under Danbatta’s leadership, investment in telecommunications grew from around $ 38 billion to more than $ 70 billion currently with appreciable remittances in spectrum fees and operating surplus from the NCC to the Fund for Consolidated Income of the Federal Government (CRF).
E-commerce services, other digital services also increased, and greater access to financial inclusion was also allowed through a greater deployment of broadband infrastructure promoted by the telecommunications regulator through a series of regulatory initiatives.
Speaking on the importance of NTITA, ATCON President Olusola Teniola said: “Our thinking is that if we decide to ignore the contribution that our sector has made to the development of Nigeria by not recognizing the actors who made it possible, what What we invariably say is that we do not appreciate your concerted efforts to change the history of our industry. “
He hoped that the awards would spur the Nigerian government to pay more attention to the sector and that state governments would continue to support the industry’s efforts to transform its various states into digital cities.