The vast experience of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) as a long standing member of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has served as a driving force for the Commission in its effective implementation of government policies and in fostering regulatory initiatives focused on advancing Nigeria’s digital transformation. . The Executive Vice President of the NCC (EVC), Professor Umar Garba Danbatta, said.
Danbatta said this while addressing global players in the information and communication technology (ICT) industry during the ongoing session of the ITU Council which will be held in person at the headquarters of the ITU in Geneva, Switzerland, from March 21 to 31, 2022.
Speaking at the Council Session, Danbatta said the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic underscore the important role that ICTs will continue to play in ensuring peace, security and prosperity around the world. “It is through the empowering experiences of the ITU ecosystem that Nigeria continues to be active and forward-looking in regards to the activities of ITU as the governing body of the United Nations (UN ) in the field of ICT,” he said.
He underscored that as a long-time member of the Council, Nigeria has used ICT as an engine of socio-economic development not only for itself but also for the benefit of the sub-region and the continent. given its role as a founding member and flagship promoter of the Assembly of West African Telecommunications Regulators (WATRA).
“Over the years, as a member of the ITU, Nigeria has chaired the World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC)-15; chaired the ITU Council Standing Committee on Administration and Management (SC-ADM), in 2019 and 2022; and chaired the Ad Hoc Committee on ITU Regional Presence,” EVC said it underlines the strategic and symbiotic relationship between Nigeria and ITU.
Reinforcing the intensity of his assertion on Nigeria’s contribution to the ITU, Danbatta said: “Nigeria also chaired the ITU-T Study Group 20 Regional Group for Africa; served as vice-chairman of ITU-T Study Group 20; served as vice-chairman of ITU-T Study Group 12; Vice-Chairman, ITU Study Group 2-Development D; as well as financial support for the ITU headquarters building, among others”.
The EVC said this strong experience within ITU has continued to empower Nigeria, through NCC, and was particularly instrumental in the recent management of a world-renowned transparent auction of the fifth generation 5G license in 2021; achieve 40.88% broadband penetration in Nigeria by December 2021; implement strong financial inclusion initiatives; as well as in promoting universal access in institutions and communities in Nigeria through the NCC’s Universal Service Provision Fund (USPF). “All this has been made possible thanks to the successful launch and implementation of policies aimed at fostering the use of ICTs in all sectors and strengthening the digital economy”, he said.
Meanwhile, the EVC used his brief remarks during the Council session to announce Nigeria’s intention to stand again for the ITU Council at future Plenipotentiary Conferences. According to Danbatta, Nigeria’s re-election will help the country continue to collaborate with and support ITU’s development agenda, ensure effective and efficient implementation of ITU resolutions, implement programs inclusive to foster the universal use of ICT across all divisions and to provide targeted services and strategic partnership. “We look forward to a strong Council session and subsequent support to Nigeria in the upcoming elections,said Danbatta.
ITU is governed by the Plenipotentiary Conference and the Administrative Council. The Plenipotentiary Conference is the supreme organ of the Union. It is the decision-making body that determines the direction of the Union and its activities.
The Council, on the other hand, acts as the governing body of the Union between Plenipotentiary Conferences. Its role is to examine major telecommunications policy issues to ensure that the activities, policies and strategies of the Union fully respond to today’s dynamic and rapidly changing telecommunications environment.
This year’s ITU Plenipotentiary Conference is due to take place in Bucharest, Romania, from Monday 26 September to 14 October 2022