In an overwhelming show of appreciation, the Nigeria Information Technology Reporters’ Association (NITRA), a key stakeholder group in Nigerian Information and Communication Technology (ICT), has showered commendations on Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, the Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC). The accolades highlight Danbatta’s outstanding leadership and unprecedented accomplishments, which have propelled the nation’s telecom sector to new heights.
During Danbatta’s eight-year tenure as the EVC, the sector has undergone a remarkable transformation, transcending previous limitations and becoming a beacon of progress. The NITRA applauded his leadership for attracting a staggering $77 billion in investments, positioning the telecom sector as a driving force in Nigeria’s economic landscape.
Under Danbatta’s visionary stewardship, the ICT community noted that the telecom sector’s contribution to Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has surged to an impressive 16 percent, a significant leap from the 8 percent recorded in 2015. The financial impact is evident, with recent National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) data revealing a substantial N2.508 trillion contribution to the GDP in the first quarter of 2023, representing 14.13 percent.
Chike Onwuegbuchi, the National Chairman of NITRA, highlighted key achievements, including Danbatta’s bold embrace of 5G technology, making Nigeria an early adopter in the global digital economy. This strategic decision resulted in a remarkable $820.8 million generated for the federal government from 5G spectrum license fees paid by leading operators.
The group also praised Danbatta for granting a license to SpaceX, owned by Elon Musk, for Starlinks broadband services, a move deemed a game-changer with nationwide coverage potential.
The transformative growth in telephone users (218.9 million), internet subscribers (159.5 million), and broadband users (88.7 million) under Danbatta’s leadership has been highlighted, with the ICT community emphasizing the sector’s role in job creation and economic development.
Danbatta’s commitment to innovation, regulatory excellence, and active stakeholder engagement was underscored by the ICT group, acknowledging the sector’s resilience in overcoming challenges such as infrastructure vandalism, regulatory complexities, and power supply issues.
The ICT community urged the federal government to replicate the telecom sector’s success in other industries, positioning Nigeria among the world’s top 20 economies. Danbatta’s leadership is celebrated as a testament to the possibilities achievable through dedication, innovation, and visionary leadership.
Amid the accolades, Danbatta’s transformative impact on Nigeria’s telecom sector stands as an inspiring example of how visionary leadership can drive growth, innovation, and prosperity in the nation’s economy. The community envisions his legacy as a cornerstone of Nigeria’s ongoing digital transformation journey.