By Sanusi Abdullahi Kiru
In the ever-evolving landscape of Nigeria’s telecommunications industry, there are individuals who leave an indelible mark, reshaping the sector for the betterment of the nation. Among these luminaries, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta stands as a true visionary leader who, during his tenure as the Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), set new standards of excellence and innovation. As we bid farewell to this distinguished leader, it is only fitting to acknowledge the profound impact of his leadership on the industry and the nation as a whole.
A Legacy of Transformation and Innovation
Prof. Danbatta assumed office as the EVC of NCC in August 2015, and from the outset, he embarked on a journey to transform Nigeria’s telecommunications sector into a global exemplar of excellence. Under his stewardship, the industry witnessed remarkable progress, growing not only in terms of infrastructure and technology but also in its role as a catalyst for economic growth and social development.
Promoting Connectivity for All
One of Prof. Danbatta’s greatest achievements was his commitment to ensuring that no Nigerian was left behind in the digital age. His policies and initiatives focused on extending telecommunications and broadband services to even the most remote areas of the country. Through programs like the “Universal Service Provision Fund (USPF),” he made sure that the digital divide was gradually bridged, bringing connectivity and opportunities to millions of Nigerians who were previously underserved.
Fostering a Competitive and Thriving Industry
Prof. Danbatta’s leadership at NCC was characterized by a commitment to fostering a competitive and vibrant telecommunications market. He initiated and executed programmes that encouraged investment, fair competition, and innovation, which led to improved services and affordability for Nigerian consumers. His efforts to safeguard the interests of both service providers and consumers established a fair playing field in the industry.
Promoting Cybersecurity and Data Privacy
In an age where the digital realm plays an ever-increasing role in our lives, Prof. Danbatta’s tenure witnessed a strong emphasis on cybersecurity and data privacy. Under his guidance, the NCC introduced policies and guidelines to protect Nigerian consumers’ data and privacy, ensuring that they could participate in the digital world with confidence.
An International Perspective
Prof. Danbatta’s leadership was not confined to Nigeria alone. He actively engaged with international organizations and regulatory bodies, representing Nigeria on the global stage. This helped in shaping global standards and best practices while fostering partnerships that benefited the nation.
A Statesman and Visionary
Beyond his impressive record of achievements, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta was a statesman and a visionary leader who possessed a deep understanding of the interconnectedness of telecommunications with the broader socio-economic development of the nation. His leadership at NCC will be remembered as a period of significant progress and transformation.
As we bid farewell to Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, we reflect on his remarkable contributions to the telecommunications industry and his unwavering dedication to the betterment of Nigeria. His legacy will continue to shape the future of telecommunications in our country, and his vision of a digitally inclusive Nigeria will serve as a guiding light for generations to come.
In the annals of Nigeria’s telecommunications history, the name of Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta will forever be inscribed as a symbol of visionary leadership, progress, and innovation.
In honor of a true luminary, we thank you, Prof. Danbatta, for your extraordinary service to our nation.
Kiru wrote in from Kano