Tag Archives: Umar Danbatta

NCC to partner Nigerian universities

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has pledged to work closer with universities in the country in order to transform Nigeria into a knowledge-based economy.

Adeolu Akande

Adeolu Akande, chair of the NCC board, made the vow during a visit by the board to Sagir Abbas, vice chancellor of Bayero University (BUK) in Kano state.

Ikechukwu Adinde, the NCC’s director of public affairs, said: “The NCC superintends a sector that is knowledge-driven and, therefore, it can only achieve its mandate with enhanced collaboration with institutions such as BUK. In the absence of the citadels of learning, one could only imagine what would have become of the communications industry.

“So, if we come to Kano, we need to come to the prime centre of learning in Kano and other universities across the state.”

Abbas said that the BUK’s management had been happy to cancel all of its engagements to receive the board as it demonstrated the university’s high regard for the NCC.

“NCC’s executive vice-chairman, Umar Danbatta, has served the university diligently, as lecturer, head of department, dean and director, and he was also a former VC at Kano University of Science & Technology. But wherever he goes, you’ll find him relating to his base. We hold him in very high esteem and we are always happy to see him and his team discharging the national assignment he is entrusted with,” said Abbas.

He noted that the university had received donations of computers, iPads and other benefits such as professorial endowments from the NCC, which have had positive impacts on the university’s academic programmes.

Abbas also appealed for more digital assistance from the commission to support the university in its efforts to provide virtual learning during the pandemic.

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Senate confirms Danbatta’s reappointment

Nigeria’s senate has confirmed the appointment of Umar Danbatta as executive vice-chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) for a second term of five years.

Umar Danbatta

The confirmation follows the release of a senate committee report on communications, presented by committee member Opeyemi Bamidele, who said Danbatta met the requirements expected of him.

Bamidele said: “The committee met and carried out the screening exercise and the nominee responded well. The senate does confirm the appointment of Umar Danbatta as the executive vice-chairman and chief executive officer.”

In his second term, Danbatta will look to consolidate some of the gains of the last five years. In February, the NCC announced a new national broadband plan targeting 70% broadband penetration in Nigeria and 90% 4G coverage by 2025.

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NCC forms digital economy unit

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has created a digital economy department responsible for implementing digital programmes and the federal government’s policies.

Umar Danbatta
The initiative was approved by the governing board of the NCC and is in line with its strategy to create a team dedicated to promoting the digital economy.

Umar Danbatta, executive vice chairman (EVC) of the NCC, said: “Placing the newly created department under the office of the EVC also underscores the importance the commission places on the need to successfully drive the overall national digital economy strategy of the government through ensuring its effective monitoring and supervision.

“The broadband implementation unit in the commission, as well as the workers in the unit, have been moved to the newly created digital economy department while an assistant director in the special duties department, Babagana Digima, has been moved and designated as the pioneer head of the new department.”

Danbatta said the commission would play a significant role in the implementation of the digital economy policy and strategy and the new department would focus on working with the eight pillars of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS), as well as overseeing the implementation of the National Broadband Plan 2020-2025.

The NDEPS is a national policy document unveiled by Nigeria’s president, Muhammadu Buhari, in November 2019 to add impetus to the government’s Economy Recovery and Growth Plan.

“Apart from infusing new dynamism into the existing digital economy function, the creation of the new department amplifies the commission’s regulatory excellence, which is one of the five pillars of its Strategic Management Plan 2020-2024,” he said.

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Danbatta reappointed to NCC

Nigerian president Muhammadu Buhari has reappointed Umar Danbatta as executive vice chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

Umar Danbatta

The appointment was based on the recommendation of the honourable minister of communications and digital economy, Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami.

Danbatta, who was appointed in 2015, will continue serving as NCC vice chairman and CEO for another five years, in an effort to consolidate the gains made in the telecoms sector in line with the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy.

In a statement, Danbatta was urged to improve on the overall performance of the commission as well as ensure mechanisms are put in place to allow the implementation of government policies.

“Furthermore, the honourable minister enjoined him to ensure the interest of telecommunication consumers, Nigerians and investors are adequately protected,” the statement reads.

Danbatta obtained his BEng and MSc degrees from the Technical University of Wroclaw in Poland and his PhD from the University of Manchester Institute of Science & Technology in the UK.

He also served as a telecoms lecturer in the department of electrical engineering, faculty of technology at Bayero University in Kano for 28 years. He was Dean of Faculty, head of department, deputy and acting dean of students, and later the director of the centre for information technology.

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NCC to build ICT parks around Nigeria

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) plans to build six information and communication technology parks in each of the six geo-political zones across the country.

Umar Danbatta

The project involves the construction and equipping of fully functional tier-four digital industrial complexes in four ICT parks, one each in Abeokuta for the south-west; Enugu for the south-east, Maiduguri for the north-east and Kano for the north-west, while the parks for the north-central and south-south regions will be established soon.

Aimed at promoting socio-economic transformation in Nigeria, the ICT parks have been designed to have fast internet services and constant power supplies.

They will provide innovation labs and digital fabrication laboratories for use by ICT innovators and entrepreneurs to turn their ideas into products and prototypes, as well as a commercial hub for ICT capacity building and digital skills, create employment and entrepreneurial activities and facilitate smart city deployment across the complex.

The move will also support the government’s ICT–related policies by facilitating the availability and accessibility of ICT services across the country and promote their usage across all sectors.

Umar Danbatta, the executive vice chairman of NCC, said: “The whole idea of putting these two things – skill acquisition and innovation – at the forefront of this very important initiative is to produce youths that can be self-reliant, generate employment for themselves and for other Nigerians.

“The NCC ICT parks project is another move by the leadership of the commission to boost youth digital skills acquisition, promote innovations, provide jobs for Nigerian youth and ultimately support the overall digital economy agenda of the federal government.

“Going forward, we hope to see software development, incubation and hardware development coming out from the ICT parks. We also hope to see innovative applications that will leverage the broadband network, which the commission is deepening in order to socially and economically transform our communities and societies,” he added.

He urged young people to be prepared to use the initiative in order to be empowered both socially and economically.

“I would like to send out a very important message to our youths, especially those who are currently occupied with various innovative applications, those who have acquired the skills but are looking for where to put the skills to fruitful engagements, by incubating them, commercialising them, or giving publicity to these excellent initiatives, to be ready to leverage this facilities,” he said.

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NCC’s Onwuegbuchulam steps down

Felicia Ngozi Onwuegbuchulam has retired from her position as director, Consumer Affairs Bureau (CAB) of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

Felicia Onwuegbuchulam with her husband Chief Charles Onwuegbuchulam (left) and Umar Danbatta

Her professionalism and contribution to the NCC’s corporate governance process bolstered the regulatory efforts of the commission, according to Umar Danbatta, executive vice chairman and chief executive of NCC.

Onwuegbuchulam was one of the commission’s most innovative management staff, said Danbatta. She introduced many innovations to ensure effective delivery of the commission’s mandate, especially to strengthen consumer protection in the telecoms industry.

Danbatta said: “We will greatly miss her as she retires from the service of the commission. She introduced a lot of innovations in all the departments where she had the privilege to serve while in the commission, and she has really advanced the delivery of NCC’s regulatory mandates.”

Onwuegbuchulan is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria, fellow of the West African Society for Communication and Administration and a member of the Association of Business Managers and Administration of Nigeria.

She worked in the finance services department, audit department and the Universal Service Provision Fund before her deployment to the CAB, where she became director in March 2018.

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NCC backs tech to boost broadband

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has approved the use of a new technology, TV White Space, to ensure that rural communities have access to broadband internet coverage.

Umar Danbatta

The move was announced by the executive vice-chairman of NCC, professor Umar Danbatta, at a workshop organised by the Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON) in Abuja.

TV White Space, spearheaded by Microsoft and Google, refers to the broadcasting frequencies in the wireless spectrum that are unused and the government is anxious to use it so that broadband penetration in Nigeria can be increased.

During the workshop, Danbatta said that using TV White Space in Nigeria would be relatively cheap for broadband coverage.

“We have TV White Space in abundance in Nigeria. It is an effective means of serving underserved communities,” he said. “The communications minister is more eager than ATCON to see pervasive use of TV White Space in Nigeria. It is a cheaper way of making broadband available.”

President of ATCON Olusola Teniola also acknowledged that deploying this new technology would be of benefit to everyone, including communities that are under-served.

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