Senate Confirms Danbatta’s Reappointment as NCC Boss

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Umar-Garba-Danbatta

Emma Okonji

The Senate has officially confirmed the nomination of Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta for reappointment as the Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

The Senate confirmed Danbatta during its plenary yesterday in Abuja, following the consideration of the report of Senator Oluremi Tinubu-led Senate Committee on Communications.

Danbatta had, on Wednesday, last week, appeared before the Senate Screening Committee, and gave impressive accounts of his stewardship as the country’s chief telecoms regulator in the last five years. The EVC’s appearance before the Senate followed his nomination for reappointment as the umpire for the telecom industry for another five years by President Muhammad Buhari on June 5, 2020.

Danbatta was appointed, in the first instance, for a five-year term in office as the NCC’s Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, on August 4, 2015 and was subsequently confirmed by the Senate on November 25, 2015.

With the Senate confirmation, Danbatta has received a vote confidence to continue to steer the regulatory activities of the country’s over $70 billion telecommunications industry for another five years towards fast-tracking Federal Government agenda on digital economy development.

Danbatta’s visionary leadership has been hinged on NCC’ Strategic Vision Plan for the fiscal years 2015-2020, focused on the 8-Point Agenda, the effective implementation of which has led to impressive broadband penetration which rose from a mere 6.0 per cent in 2015 to 40.14 per cent in May, 2020. Active Internet subscriptions also increased from 93 million to over 141 million currently during the period.

The number of active telephone subscribers also rose from 150 million in 2015 to 192.32 million in May 2020 with teledensity currently standing at 100.72 per cent, following the rebasing the teledensity to 91 per cent in March, 2019.