By Celestine Okafor (Editor-in-Chief) @CelestineOkaf11
The Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Danbatta, was at the weekend in Lagos, decorated with the 2022 Regulator of the Year Award at the prestigious 11th Edition of the Vanguard Personality of the Year Award where men and women who have distinguished themselves as achievers of excellence in their various fields of endeavours were honoured.
The award was conferred on Danbatta in recognition of the EVC's effective regulatory achievements through cutting-edge initiatives, especially during his first five years in office during which Nigeria’s telecom sector has shown spectacular landmarks, at a glamorous ceremony at the Eko Hotels & Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos on Friday.
According to Vanguard Newspaper Limited, the organizers of the event, his initiatives strengthened the role of the telecommunications sector as a major contributor to the growth of Nigeria's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as well as telecoms investment inflows from $36 billion in 2015 to over $70 billion.
Danbatta also spearheaded a campaign to improve Nigeria’s broadband penetration from the paltry five percent at the time of his appointment to about 30% in 2018. The EVC is currently among those leading the charge for the realisation of the new national broadband penetration target of 70 percent by 2025 since his reappointment in office in 2020.
While presenting the award, Chief Abiola Dosunmu, the Erelu Kuti IV of Lagos, said Danbatta was eminently qualified and deserving of the distinct recognition conferred upon him.
Other eminent Nigerians who have distinguished themselves in professional excellence and service to humanity in the private and public sectors were conferred with various categories of awards at the event including the President of Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote who won the Personality of the Year Award.
Other awardees include the Kwara State Governor, Abdulraham Abdulrazaq and Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde who were present and decorated and the Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority, Mohammed Bello Koko who won the Public Sector Icon of the Year.
Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa was represented by the Deputy Governor of the State, Barrister Kingsley Burutu Otuaro while Akwa Ibom State Governor, Udom Emmanuel was represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Dr. Emmanuel Ekuwem.
Distinguished guests at the event were the Ooni of Ife, Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi; Chairman of the Board of Commissioners of the NCC, Prof. Adeolu Akande; the Executive Commissioner, Stakeholder Management of the NCC, Adeleke Adewolu; some other members of the Board as well as Management and Staff of the Commission. NNL.