The Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, has appeared before the Senate Screening Committee where his performance in office was given a thumbs up and is now set to be confirmed.
Danbatta”s name was earlier sent the Senate for reappointment by the President for another five-year term in office as the country’s chief telecoms regulator.
A statement by the director of public affairs at NCC, Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde on Monday gave details of Danbatta’s appearance before the screening committee and the aftermath.
Danbatta, he said, demonstrated his deep knowledge of the industry, extensively discussed his scorecard since he assumed office as the EVC of NCC on August 4, 2015, and was applauded by Committee members for his sterling performance and exceptional leadership qualities which, they said had helped in accelerating the growth of the telecoms sector.
Adinde said Senator Ibrahim Oloriegbe, a prominent member of the committee, represented the Chairman of the Senate Screening Committee, Mrs. Oluremi Tinubu, during the screening.
Other committee members, including Sen. Sandy Onor, Sen. Abiodun Olujimi, Sen. Bamidele Opeyemi, Sen. Omar Jeff, Sen. Kashim Shettima and Sen. Bukachuwa, also commended Danbatta’s impressive performance in piloting the affairs of the country’s digital ecosystem.
Oloriegbe noted that the screening and confirmation exercise was in accordance with the provisions of Section 8 subsections 1 and 4 of the Nigerian Communications Commission Act (NCA), 2003.
Section 8 subsection 1 of the Act states that “…all commissioners to be appointed after the coming into force of this Act shall be appointed by the President in accordance with Section 7 of this Act, from the six geo-political zones of Nigeria subject to confirmation by the Senate,” while subsection 4 states that “…commissioners shall serve for a term of 5 years from the date of their appointment at the expiration of which the President may renew the term for a further period of 5 years and no more.”
Danbatta, who gave convincing accounts of his stewardship in the last five years, said the diligent implementation of NCC’s auspicious strategic 8-Point Agenda, which he put in place when he assumed office in 2015, provided the basis for most of the Commission’s achievements in the last five years, especially in the areas of service availability, accessibility and affordability.
The EVC reeled outstanding achievements under him in the past five years and provided relevant industry and macro-economic statistics to illuminate his efforts and strides in the areas of the sector’s contribution to Gross Domestic Product (GDP), Quality of Service (QoS) delivery, broadband infrastructure deployment, broadband penetration, effective spectrum utilisation, consumer empowerment, technology innovation as well as the Commission’s efforts with respect to curbing fraudulent Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) registration and 112 Emergency Number towards ridding the country of insecurity, among others.
Danbatta thanked the lawmakers for their support over the last five years and pledged his renewed commitment to further accelerate the growth of the telecoms industry as the key driver of the country’s digital economy vision over the next five years.
“As a Commission, we are committed to challenging our current achievements. Consequently, we are poised to work more with the National Assembly and other necessary stakeholders in order to ensure we take Mr. President’s digital agenda for the country to the next level in the next five years.”
Meanwhile, the Committee will report the outcome of the screening exercise to the Senate Committee of the Whole House for confirmation of Danbatta’s reappointment during the next legislative sitting.