The Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta at the weekend in Lagos, lifted the Platinum Award of the Nigeria Academy of Engineering (NAEng.) being a reward for his leadership of the nation’s telecom regulator for its contributions to the development and growth of engineering profession in the technological and economic development of the country.
President of the Academy, Prof. Azikiwe Onwualu, said during the award presentation by doyen of engineering and Former Director General of the Nigerian Television Authority, Vincent Maduka, that the Commission deserved the award as it has done the profession proud in its telecom regulatory process and promotion of engineering as shown in its strong support for the NAEng.
While handing over the award at the 2023 Annual Technology Dinner of the Academy, Maduka eulogized: “Prof. Danbatta has contributed immensely to the sustainability of all initiatives of the professional body, just as his role to the development of engineering profession in general is being felt in Nigeria, through his effective regulation of the telecommunications sector.”
Danbatta, a professor of electrical and electronics engineering, who is a member of Council, and a fellow of NAEng, while receiving the award, expressed appreciation to the illustrious institute for considering the Commission worthy of the award.
Danbatta dedicated the award to the ‘hardworking and diligent staff of the Nigerian Communications Commission’, who, he said, have continued to demonstrate commitment to supporting his vision to promote regulatory excellence toward sustaining growth of Nigeria’s digital economy.
“I could not have done the good work you credited me with, without the support and cooperation of NCC staff and we are delighted that the public is watching, listening and observing what we are doing and a testimony to this fact is the platinum category award we have just been given by the apex engineering body in the country,” the EVC stated.
Danbatta further said: “I want to assure the public that the NCC will do whatever it can, within its mandates, to bring out impactful initiatives that will drive the digital transformation process that will ultimately make telecom services pervasive and affordable to all parts of the country.”
He used the opportunity to speak about some of the initiatives of the Commission that have struck a rhythm in the socio-economic development of the nation.
These, he said, include the one targeted at the Nigerian youths across the country where the Commission trains the youth, provides them with laptops, and other equipment that can make them access the internet with a view to equipping them to develop their skill and earn a living.
Danbatta assured of the Commission’s commitment to driving digital connectivity aimed at bridging extant clusters of access gaps in Nigeria. “We have a target of 70 per cent broadband penetration by 2025, as contained in the Nigerian National Broadband Plan (NNBP). We are around 50 per cent currently and I can assure you that we are hopeful that we will achieve and surpass that target,” he said.
The Nigerian Academy of Engineering was established to pursue excellence in science, technology and engineering as well as provide a national platform for experts to harness their experiences and insights and make input into public and private technical policy.