…as commission, Danbatta bag more awards
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and its executive vice-chairman, Prof. Umar Danbatta, have clinched more awards for their contributions to the development of the telecoms sector.
The duo clinched The Regulator Of The Year Award for 2021 and Public Official Of The Decade Award, respectively, at the 11th edition of the Nigerian NewsDirect Awards in Lagos.
The combined awards, issued on the heels of a public lecture, titled “Public Sector Financing: The Oil Revenue, Challenges, Solutions and Prospects”, eloquently expressed the significance of the telecom sector’s contribution to Nigeria’s economy – especially its 12.45 per cent contribution to the nation’s GDP in 2020, which was central and pivotal in taking the nation out of recession at the time.
As indicated, the presentation of the awards was preceded by the Nigerian NewsDirect anniversary public lecture, delivered by the Ogun State commissioner for finance and chief economic adviser to Governor Dapo Okubadejo.
Okubadejo’s paper reflected essentially on the increasing challenges of the nation’s dependence on oil revenues for public sector financing. The paper offered solutions to better public sector financing from the context, refocusing on the opportunities and prospects inherent not just in the oil sector but other sectors as well.
Thankfully, the role NCC is mandated to play in enhancing Nigeria’s growth and development is not lost on its management. This was emphasised by Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde, NCC’s director of public affairs, who received the awards on behalf of the commission and the EVC/CEO. Adinde, while conveying NCC’s gratitude for the award, said the commission will not rest on its oars but rededicate itself towards demonstrating its worthiness of the public trust and confidence reposed in it as an agency central to the rediversification of the nation’s economy.
Adinde said the garlands, swelling the repository of awards to NCC would not surprise discerning watchers of national events. In November 2021, the commission conducted a historic auction of the 3.5GHz spectrum, in preparation for the deployment of 5G services to be activated this year. It was not the first time NCC will conduct an auction but it was the first time it had completed an auction with the final bid ending at a price more than 30 per cent higher than the initial bid offer. The auction, which started with the initial offer of $197.4 million, closed after 11 rounds at $273.6 million. Two companies, Mafab Communications and MTN Nigeria Plc, won the bid.