Man of the Year 2021

Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta



By Sabiu Abdullahi

One shining example of a proactive CEO in nation’s fastest growing sector -telecommunications is Professor Umaru Garba Danbatta. He has given a special speed to Nigeria’s vision of a regulatory communications services that has been for some 29 years.
It is now well-known that Danbatta has not just stopped at positive internal restructuring of the NCC but also saw to the rapid enhancement of the competitive international image of the agency.

Having been in charge of the NCC since 2015, under the new, amended Act that strengthened its operational goals, Danbatta left no stone unturned in giving his job as CEO his best shot.

He delayed no action in administrative innovativeness and prudent resource management. Together with a management that has an eye on the ultimate goal of the commission, they have since ensured the NCC is growing in quantum leaps forward.

It was therefore not surprising to keen watchers of the highly-competitive Nigeria telecommunications sector that the NCC has a deluge of awards as a eloquent testimonies of its uniqueness.

A special publication of THE REPORTERS Magazine recently indicated: “It is two decades since the NCC midwifed the birth of Global System of Mobile Communications (GSM), to herald a new era of public communication in Nigeria.”

On the floodgate of awards it got, an NCC document stated thus : “The new awards were conferred on the Commission and its Management at different fora organised to commemorate 20 years of revolutionary digital communication in Nigeria.
Besides the serial honour attending the celebrations of two decades of the GSM revolution, the Commission also won awards at annual events organised by strategic stakeholders, including, the Nigerian telecom sector’s equivalent of Oscars, the Nigeria Tech Innovations & Telecoms Awards (NTITA), 2021.”

Going further the NCC documents revealed thus: “At NTITA, NCC received the ‘Outstanding Telecom Regulator of the Year’ award, while its CEO, Prof. Umar Danbatta, the Executive Vice Chairman, was honoured with the ‘Telecoms Industry Leader’ award. The event took place in Lagos, on 19th November 2021.”
Just before then, at another event organised by the Association of Licensed Telecoms Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) and the Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), in collaboration with Digivation Network, the Commission grabbed another trophy tagged ‘The Premier African Regulator’ award. “The EVC was also honoured with the ‘Regulatory Excellence Award’, while the Executive Commissioner Stakeholder Management, Barrister Adeleke Adewolu, received ‘The Outstanding Digital Impact Personality’ award.”

The achievements of NCC are so monumental and plenty in number that a compendium would be required to give the important details in full.

THE REPORTERS archives, which our investigative team revisited, has helped in further indicating the multiple milestones recorded by the NCC under the strategic management focus of Professor Danbatta-led management at the NCC.

It is so glaring to watchers of the telecommunications sector in today’s Nigeria, that Professor Danbatta has made a mark as a legend in efficiency and effectiveness. There is no better honor for him than declaration of “Man of the Year“, for a man who came saw and standardized an organization to meet global standards within a short time.

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