Umar Garba Danbatta, executive vice-chairman and CEO of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), has been awarded the Broadband Oxygenator of the Year award.
Receiving the honour as part of the Nigeria Tech Innovation & Telecoms Awards (NTITA) in Abuja, Danbatta was recognised for his commitment to the development of Nigeria’s broadband infrastructure to support the country’s digital economy drive.
In addition, the NCC received the Outstanding Contribution to Driving Greater Broadband Penetration award, while other industry stakeholders, including the minister of communications and digital economy Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, received other awards.
NCC and Danbatta’s awards come after the telecoms sector’s contribution to Nigeria’s GDP increased from 8.5% in 2015 to 14.3% as of the second quarter of 2020, translating to N2.272 trillion (US$5.9bn) in financial value.
Olusola Teniola, president of Association of Telecoms Companies of Nigeria, one of the organisations behind the NTITA, said: “Our thinking is that if we decide to ignore the contribution that our sector has made to the development of Nigeria by not recognising the actors that made it possible, what we are saying invariably is that we are unappreciative of their concerted efforts in changing the story of our industry.”
Teniola added that he hoped the awards would spur the Nigerian government to pay more attention to the sector and encourage state governments to continue to support the efforts of the industry to transform their various states into digital cities.