NCC Bags Best Public Sector Regulator Award

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…5G auction process, others cited as yardstick

NCC Neptune Award
R-L: The chief executive officer, Neptune Network Nigeria Limited, Hassan Gimba presenting an award to the representative of the Nigerian Communications Commission, Dr. Omoniyi Ibietan, NCC’s head of online media during the ceremony in Abuja.

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has been conferred with an award of excellence as the ‘Public Sector Regulator of the Year 2021’ in recognition of its diligence in the auction of the processes towards the deployment of Fifth Generation (5G) network in Nigeria.

The award was conferred by Neptune Network Nigeria Limited, which organised the conferment ceremony concurrently with the launch of the Lami Fatima Babare Cervical Cancer Awareness Foundation in Abuja.

Speaking at the award ceremony, the chief executive officer, Neptune Network Nigeria Limited, Hassan Gimba, said aside from the recognition of NCC’s pioneering regulatory role in leading the processes for 5G deployment in Nigeria in the West African sub-region, the commission was adjudged winner of the award based on its historic auction of the 3.5 gigahertz (GHz) spectrum in preparation for the deployment of 5G services which will become operational in the second half of this year.

According to Gimba, the spectrum auction was not only competitive, but it was also thorough, painstaking and completed with the final bid ending at a price 30 per cent higher ($273.6 million) than the initial offer of $197.4 million.

“This is not only historically remarkable in terms of organisation; it is commendable because it brought substantial revenue to the coffers of Federal Government to enhance the socio-economic development of other sectors in Nigeria,” Gimba said.

Other reasons cited by the organisers of the event for considering the commission worthy of the award include the recognition of its various regulatory efforts and strategic initiatives that have resulted in the contribution of the telecommunications industry to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP). This has lifted the country out of recession and bolstered national economic recovery strategies.

The conferment of the award was also premised on the remarkable role the commission has been playing in cybersecurity awareness campaigns focused on informing, educating and protecting the teeming telecom consumers from falling victim to the wiles of cybercriminals.

The organisers particularly placed on record the NCC’s establishment of the Computer Security Incident Response Team (CSIRT), the telecom industry’s sectoral watchdog for cyber threats. The Neptune Network said it was gratified by the regular alerts to telecoms consumers on any novel cyber threats which were based on the works of CSIRT and the Nigeria Computer Emergency Response Team (ngCERT), the national centre for the coordination of incident response and mitigation strategies for cyber threats.

Gimba commended the commission under the leadership of its executive vice chairman and chief executive officer, Prof. Umar Danbatta, for creating an enabling environment for competition to thrive among operators in the industry and its unwavering commitment to expanding the nation’s frontiers of growth and development through accelerating broadband infrastructure deployment.

Receiving the award on behalf of the commission, in the presence of other eminent Nigerians, including the representatives of Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno State, who was recognised as ‘Governor of the Year’, the NCC’s head of online media, Dr. Omoniyi Ibietan, thanked the management of Neptune Network Nigeria Limited for the recognition.

“On behalf of the board and management of the commission led by our inspiring executive vice chairman and chief executive officer, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, I convey the gratitude of the commission to the organisers of this event and thank them for this special recognition. The commission treasures this gesture and sees it as another wake-up call to do more in the effort to unleash the full potential of Nigeria’s digital economy,” Ibietan said.

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