By Prince Osuagwu, Hi-Tech Editor

The man who liberalised the telecom sector, former President Olusegun Obasanjo and the former Executive Vice-Chairman of the NCC, who auctioned the first set of Global System for Mobile Communications, GSM Networks licences in Nigeria, Engr. Ernest Ndukwe would lead other prominent delegates to the [email protected] Telecom summit in Lagos next week.

Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo is expected to chair the one-day summit slated for Thursday, October 28, 2021 at The MUSON Centre, Onikan.

The summit will commemorate the 20 years of GSM which saw to the transformation of telecommunications services in Nigeria.

The highlight of the Summit will be a Masterclass for mostly Media practitioners to be moderated by Tony Ojobo, President, African ICT Foundation with the Group Managing Director, Zenith Bank Plc, Mr. Ebenezer Onyeagwu as the guest speaker.

There will also be a two-part Anniversary Lecture under the Chairmanship of Prof. Isa Pantami, Minister of Communications and Digital Economy. The first part entitled: Telecommunications In Nigeria: The Revolution will be delivered by Dr. Ernest Ndukwe, who is currently the Chairman, MTN Nigeria Communications Plc.

The second part titled: Telecommunications In Nigeria: The Next Frontier will be delivered by Prof. Umar Danbatta, Executive Vice Chairman/CEO of NCC.

Also prominent on the line up of activities for the summit are the unveiling of a commemorative publication entitled: Nigeria’s GSM, The Ultimate Game Changer by former President Olusegun Obasanjo and the formal exposure of the anniversary documentary titled: Nigeria’s Telecommunications Revolution: An NCC Legacy. The Awards segment will be in two broad categories.

The first category will be for individual awards and is in four subsets; Evergreen Award, Pathfinders Award, Enablers Award and Honourable Mentions. The second category will be for institutions and include Industry Pioneers Award and Industry Pacesetters Award.

Notable among the 16 individual awardees are former President Olusegun Obasanjo, under whose tenure the telecommunications transformation was consummated, the late Alhaji Ahmed Joda, who led the Board of Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, to midwife the telecommunications revolution, Dr. Ernest Ndukwe, who as the Executive Vice-Chairman of NCC was the real architect of the revolution, Prof. Isa Pantami, who as Minister of Communications and Digital Economy has, so far, added fillip to the nation’s telecommunications sector, Prof. Umar Danbatta, Executive Vice-Chairman of NCC, who continues to sustain the growth occasioned by the telecoms revolution and Dr. Mike Adenuga Jnr, whose innovative streak continually adds verve to the telecommunications sector in Nigeria.

Other individual award recipients will include Paschal Dozie, pioneer Chairman of MTN Nigeria, Oba Otudeko, pioneer Chairman of Econet Wireless (now Airtel Nigeria), Hakeem Belo-Osagie, pioneer Chairman, Etisalat Nigeria (now 9Mobile), Funke Opeke, CEO of MainOne, Jim Ovia, former Co-Chairman of National Broadband Council and Paul Usoro, SAN, renowned telecommuincations lawyer and investor.

Also on the list of awardees are former Communications Minister, Muhammed Arzika (posthumous), pioneer Team Lead, MTN, Irene Chanley and pioneer Team Lead, Econet Wireless, Strive Masiyiwa.

Telecommunications firms billed to receive awards under the Industry Pioneers category are MTN Nigeria Communications Plc, Airtel Nigeria (formerly Econet Wireless), Globacom Limited and 9mobile (formerly Etisalat Nigeria).  Similarly, the Industry Sustenance Award recipients in the Pacesetters category include Swift Networks, Smile Nigeria, Spectranet, Ntel and IPNX.

Evidently, the emergence of GSM services in Nigeria in 2001 revolutionized how Nigerians see, access and utilize telecommunications services.


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