By Chibuike Nwabuko
Abuja (Sundiata Post) – Array of stakeholders in the telecom industry have rained awards on the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) for its role in enhancing digital transformation in Nigeria for the past two decades.
The new awards were conferred on the Commission and its Management at different fora organised to commemorate 20 years of revolutionary digital communication in Nigeria.
This was contained in a statement signed by NCC’s Director, Public Affairs, Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde made available to Sundiata Post.
According to the statement, besides the serial honour attending the celebrations of two decades of the GSM revolution, the Commission also won awards at annual events organised by strategic stakeholders, including, the Nigerian telecom sector’s equivalent of Oscars, the Nigeria Tech Innovations & Telecoms Awards (NTITA), 2021.
At NTITA, NCC received the ‘Outstanding Telecom Regulator of the Year’ award, while its CEO, Prof. Umar Danbatta, the Executive Vice Chairman, was honoured with the ‘Telecoms Industry Leader’ award. The event took place in Lagos, on 19th November 2021.
Recall that a week earlier, at another event organised by the Association of Licensed Telecoms Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) and the Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), in collaboration with Digivation Network, the Commission had received, ‘The Premier African Regulator’ award. The EVC was also honoured with the ‘Regulatory Excellence Award’, while the Executive Commissioner Stakeholder Management, Barrister Adeleke Adewolu, received ‘The Outstanding Digital Impact Personality’ award. The event, tagged 20 Years of Digital Revolution Powered by GSM, took place at the Nigerian Air Force Conference Centre, Abuja, on 11th November 2021.
The same day, at yet another event organised by E-Business Life Magazine at the Oriental Hotel, Lagos to mark the 20 years of the birth of GSM, the NCC also received, ‘Technology Transformer Award’.
Additionally, just over the weekend, the NCC also received the ‘Regulator of the Year’ award at the New Telegraph Awards 2021, organised at the Federal Palace Hotel, Lagos, on Friday, November 19, 2021.
Meanwhile, at the event organised at NAF Conference Centre in Abuja, a panel representing shades of stakeholders in the telecom and ICT sector, took a retrospective reflection at the last 20 years of telecom liberalisation under NCC’s supervision. The panelists agreed that there have been irreversible, exponential transformation of the sector with visible impact on all other sectors of the Nigerian economy.
The panelists reminisced on developments in the sector in an inquisitorial manner, asking the audience to measure the dynamism in the telecom sector in terms of digital sophistication and digital literacy in comparison to what it was two decades ago.
The speakers, one ofter another, examined in objective contexts, how telecoms service availability, affordability and accessibility have benefited persons of all social strata, especially the disadvantaged segment of the society. The panel also took a stock of the general impact of the digital culture from a historical perspective in order to properly capture the milestones.
As Nigeria prepares for the launch of the Fifth Generation (5G) networks, the panelists agreed that there will be more benefits to harvest from the emerging technologies. Thus, they urged all stakeholders to heighten education of citizens and especially telecom consumers, in order to halt the misinformation about 5G.
The discussants also expressed confidence in the ability of the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy and the NCC to rally stakeholders to deepen engagement at all levels and sectors to focus on the implementation of policies to ensure attainment of the set targets.
Meanwhile, the Director Public Affairs at the Commission, Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde, commended stakeholders, who gathered at various events where the Commission and its leaders were honoured, for their dedicated solidarity. He also thanked the various stakeholders who recognised the Commission with landmark awards, for the impeccable honours. Adinde stated that such number of awards to NCC in a fortnight testified to the strong collaboration between the Commission and the stakeholders and their conviction that NCC is fulfilling its mandate.
Adinde particularly told the audience at the E-Business Life forum that the recognitions coming to NCC will further encourage the Commission’s management led by Prof. Umar Danbatta and his dynamic team to do more to expand the frontiers of opportunities of digital economy to enable citizens and other investors to enhance their contributions to Nigeria’s growth and development.
Sundiata Post recalls that it is two decades since the NCC midwifed the birth of Global System of Mobile Communications (GSM), to herald a new era of public communication in Nigeria.