L-R: Reuben Muoka, Director, Public Affairs, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC); Vincent Maduka, past President, Nigerian Academy of Engineering (NAEng); Prof. Azikiwe Onwualu, President, NAEng; Prof. Umar Danbatta, Executive Vice Chairman/Chief Executive Officer (EVC/CEO) NCC; Abraham Oshadami, Director, Spectrum Administration, NCC; Hafiz Shehu, Chief of Staff to the EVC, NCC; at the Academy’s 2023 Technology Dinner where Danbatta received Platinum Appreciation Award in Lagos on Wednesday (June 21, 2023).
Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, the Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), was honored with the prestigious Platinum Award by the Nigeria Academy of Engineering (NAEng) in recognition of his exceptional leadership and the Commission’s significant contributions to the development of the engineering profession and the country’s technological and economic advancement.
The award was presented at the 2023 Annual Technology Dinner of the Academy in Lagos, with the President of NAEng, Prof. Azikiwe Onwualu, commending the Commission for its remarkable telecom regulatory processes and its unwavering support for engineering, demonstrated through its strong backing of the NAEng.
Doyen of engineering and former Director-General of the Nigerian Television Authority, Vincent Maduka, presented the award to Prof. Danbatta, stating, “Prof. Danbatta has made immense contributions to the sustainability of all initiatives of the professional body, and his role in the overall development of the engineering profession in Nigeria is evident through his effective regulation of the telecommunications sector.”
Grateful for the recognition, Prof. Danbatta expressed his appreciation to the Nigeria Academy of Engineering for deeming the Commission worthy of the esteemed award. He dedicated the accolade to the diligent and hardworking staff of the NCC, attributing their commitment to supporting his vision for promoting regulatory excellence and sustaining the growth of Nigeria’s digital economy.
“The NCC staff have played a crucial role in the success we have achieved. We are delighted that the public is observing our efforts, and this platinum award from the apex engineering body in the country serves as a testament to our commitment,” Prof. Danbatta remarked.
Highlighting the NCC’s dedication to fostering the digital transformation process and ensuring the affordability and accessibility of telecom services nationwide, Prof. Danbatta pledged to continue implementing impactful initiatives. He mentioned the Commission’s ongoing youth empowerment program, which includes training, providing laptops, and other equipment to enable young Nigerians to access the internet and develop valuable skills for employment opportunities.
Addressing the nation’s digital connectivity gaps, Prof. Danbatta reaffirmed the NCC’s commitment to achieving the targets set in the Nigerian National Broadband Plan (NNBP). With a goal of 70% broadband penetration by 2025, the NCC has made substantial progress, reaching approximately 50% penetration and expressing optimism about surpassing the target.
The Nigerian Academy of Engineering, established to promote excellence in science, technology, and engineering, provides a platform for experts to share experiences and insights while influencing public and private technical policies. The Platinum Award bestowed upon Prof. Danbatta acknowledges his remarkable contributions to the engineering profession and his instrumental role in driving the nation’s digital transformation.