In a prestigious ceremony held in Lagos, Prof. Umar Danbatta, the Executive Vice-Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (EVC/CEO) of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), was honored as the Champion Newspapers’ Most Outstanding Regulator of the Year 2002. The award recognized Danbatta’s remarkable achievements and contributions to the telecommunications industry in Nigeria.
Champion Newspapers commended Danbatta for his instrumental role in surpassing Nigeria’s national broadband target in 2018 and leading the efforts to achieve the new target of 70 percent broadband penetration by 2025.
“As of October 2022, broadband penetration has finally reached 48.49 percent, indicating 93 million broadband connections, up from five percent in 2015.
“Through effective regulatory regime and various cutting-edge initiatives, Danbatta has strengthened the role of telecommunications sector as a major contributor to the country’s Gross Domestic Products, GDP growth, and boosted telecoms investment inflows from $36 billion to over $70 billion since 2015, among others.
“Among several concrete achievements, Danbatta, in 2021 ensured the successful auction and assignment of three frequency lots in the 3.5Ghz spectrum brand for the deployment of the fifth generation, 5G network in Nigeria towards harnessing the potential benefits of emerging technologies for the advancement of the socioeconomic development of Nigeria,”
Expressing his gratitude, Danbatta dedicated the award to the NCC’s board and management, acknowledging their unwavering support throughout the years. He emphasized the collaborative efforts that have fostered industry stability and vibrancy, promising to continue working closely with the board and management to raise the bar in regulating the telecommunications sector. Danbatta further affirmed his commitment to ensuring that Nigerian citizens enjoy high-quality and efficient telecom services.
The award ceremony also honored other notable individuals who have made significant contributions to Nigeria’s progress. Chief Pa Ayo Adebanjo, the Afenifere Leader, received the Champion Newspapers’ Lifetime Achievement Award of the Year 2022, while Brig. Mohamed Buba Marwa, Chairman and Executive Director of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), was recognized as the Chairman Newspapers’ Man of the Year 2022.
Additionally, Mr. Ademola Adeleke, Governor of Osun State, was named Champion Newspapers’ Governor of the Year for his remarkable achievements in good governance, including the timely payment of owed salaries and pensions within his first 100 days in office. Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, was also honored as the Champion Newspapers’ Governor of the Year for his dedication to serving the people of Lagos and delivering lasting value.
Dr. Nwadiuto Iheakanwa, the Group Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief of Champion Newspapers Limited, extended her congratulations to all the awardees, highlighting their exceptional accomplishments as the reason for the celebratory gathering. She emphasized the importance of continued efforts to unlock Nigeria’s full potential in all areas of endeavor, acknowledging that the country is among the world’s most resource-rich nations.
The event served as a platform to recognize and honor these distinguished individuals who have made outstanding contributions to Nigeria’s growth and development, inspiring others to strive for excellence in their respective fields.