The Nigerian Senate, yesterday formally confirmed the nomination of Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta for reappointment as the Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).
The confirmation came during plenary on Tuesday, July 21, 2020 in Abuja, following the consideration of the report of Senator Oluremi Tinubu-led Senate Committee on Communications.
Danbatta had, on Wednesday, July 15, 2020, appeared before the Senate Screening Committee, to give account of his stewardship as Nigeria’s chief telecommunications regulator in the past five years. This followed his nomination for reappointment as Chief Executive of NCC by President Muhammad Buhari on June 5, 2020. Danbatta was appointed, in the first instance, for a five-year term in office on August 4, 2015 and was subsequently confirmed by the Senate on November 25, 2015.
With the Senate confirmation, Danbatta has received a vote confidence to continue to steer the regulatory activities of the country’s over $70 billion telecommunications industry for another five years.
In his first five years in the sector, Danbatta had hinged his programme at the NCC’ on his Strategic Vision Plan (SVP) for the fiscal years 2015-2020, focused on the 8-Point Agenda, the implementation of which led to increased broadband penetration which rose from a mere 6.0 per cent in 2015 to 40.14 per cent in May, 2020.
In the same vein, Nigeria’s active Internet subscriptions also increased from 93 million to over 141 million during the period.