In a resounding chorus of praise, a stakeholder group in the Nigerian Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has commended the Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, for his remarkable leadership and the unprecedented achievements in the nation’s telecom sector.
The stakeholders came under the auspices of the Nigeria Information Technology Reporters’ Association (NITRA).
According to the body, under Danbatta’s visionary leadership, Nigeria’s telecom sector has witnessed an astounding transformation, transcending previous limitations and emerging as a beacon of progress. His eight-year tenure as the EVC of the NCC has seen the sector attract a staggering $77 billion in investments, catapulting it to the forefront of the nation’s economic landscape.
The ICT group lauded Danbatta for overseeing a sector that now contributes a substantial 16 percent to Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), a notable increase from its 8 percent contribution in 2015. The financial impact of the sector is undeniable, with a recent report from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) revealing a significant N2.508 trillion contribution to the nation’s GDP in the first quarter of 2023, representing 14.13 per cent.
National Chairman of NITRA, Chike Onwuegbuchi, in a statement, said one of the key achievements highlighted by the ICT community was Danbatta’s bold move to embrace 5G technology, positioning Nigeria as an early adopter in the global digital economy. He said this strategic decision resulted in the generation of $820.8 million for the federal government from 5G spectrum license fees paid by leading operators.
“Furthermore, the issuance of a license to Elon Musk-owned SpaceX for Starlinks broadband services, a satellite-based wireless broadband offering with nationwide coverage potential, has been a game-changer for the industry and a testament to Danbatta’s forward-thinking approach,” he said.
The ICT group also emphasized the remarkable growth in telephone users, internet subscribers, and broadband users under Danbatta’s stewardship, which has soared to 218.9 million, 159.5 million, and 88.7 million, respectively, noting that these figures, along with the creation of numerous jobs, have underscored the sector’s pivotal role in Nigeria’s economic development.
The ICT group said Danbatta’s unwavering commitment to innovation, regulatory excellence, and active stakeholder engagement has set a powerful precedent for success and acknowledged the sector’s resilience in the face of challenges such as infrastructure vandalism, regulatory complexities, and power supply issues.
The ICT community has urged the federal government to replicate the telecom sector’s success in other industries to propel Nigeria into the ranks of the world’s top 20 economies. They view Danbatta’s leadership as a testament to what can be achieved with dedication, innovation, and visionary leadership.
Meanwhile, as the accolades pour in, Danbatta’s transformative leadership in Nigeria’s telecom sector serves as an inspiring example of how visionary leadership can drive growth, innovation, and prosperity in the nation’s economy.
“His legacy will undoubtedly be remembered as a cornerstone of Nigeria’s digital transformation journey,” said Chike in the statement.