Prof. Umar Danbatta, the Executive Vice Chairman, EVC, of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), has been awarded the 2019 Zik Prize.
Dambatta won the professional leadership category.
The winners were announced in a webinar on Thursday by a member of the Advisory Board of the award, Prof. Pat Utomi.
Utomi announced the NCC EVC and the Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, CEO of United Bank for Africa, UBA, Kennedy Uzoka, as the winners in that category.
Utomi said, “Prof Umar Garba Danbatta is a square peg in a square hole. An academic professor, Danbatta has, through the NCC, led the charge to drive Nigeria’s industrial revolution and knowledge-based economy leveraging telecommunications.”
Utomi noted that the telecommunications’ contribution to the GDP of Nigeria has grown by 70 per cent from 2015 to 2020, whilst broadband penetration has leapt from 8 per cent to 42 per cent, in the same period under the leadership of Prof. Danbatta .
According to Utomi, Danbatta’s leadership has enhanced transparency and innovation in the sector, such that recently, the Nigerian Communications Commission was acknowledged by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), as one of Africa’s foremost regulator.
Danbatta had been earlier, in a letter of nomination for the award back in July 2020 which was jointly signed by the Chairman of the Board, Senator Jubril Aminu, CON and Utomi, described as “an outstanding public servant, whose initiatives and reforms had contributed to Information and Communications Technology (ICT) playing a leading role in the socio-economic development of Nigeria.”