•Prof Umar Garba Danbatta
By Adesina Wahab
The National Association of Nigerian Students, NANS, has lauded the Nigerian Communication Commission, NCC, for preventing the hacking of the server of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, during the recently-conducted general elections in the country.
The student body also passed a vote of confidence on the Executive Vice Chairman of the commission, Prof. Garba Danbatta.
NANS, in a statement by the National Secretary General, Comrade Usman Kankia, noted that repelling millions of cyber attacks on the server during the polls was worth commending as anything otherwise would have put the whole exercise into jeopardy.
“We are moved by the unprecedented transformation he has brought to the NCC, some of which include: The successful auction of 3.5 gigahertz (GHz) spectrum broadband for the deployment of the 5G network in Nigeria to boost internet speed and connectivity across the country
“Regulatory strides that have continually created a level playing field for investors, this has helped to reflate telecom-induced growth of the economy in the post-pandemic era
“Prof. Danbatta has also repositioned ICT to contribute 17% to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) with a target of 20% in the future helping to bridge government revenue deficit
“Under Prof. Danbatta, the NCC has ensured continuous SIM registration audit to provide security and curtail incidences of banditry, kidnapping, and armed robbery thereby improving on the security situation of the country.
“Creation of Emergency Communications Centres (ECCs) in more states of the federation and execution of the counterpart funding agreements with the licensed Infrastructure companies (InfraCos) to facilitate the digital transformation of the economy.
Statistics from the commission shows that when Danbatta came on board, 217 access gap clusters were identified in the country, with 40 million Nigerians excluded from access to telecoms services. Five years after, however, the access gaps have reduced to 114 clusters with an additional 15 million Nigerians now connected.
“He also oversaw the successful licensing of six Infrastructure Companies (InfraCos) to deploy fibre infrastructure across the six-geo political zones that will also help to galvanize increased connectivity and improve broadband penetration. This single move have brought about a reduction in the cost of data from N1000, per gigabyte of data to around N390 with a broadband penetration target of 70 per cent to cover 90 per cent as contained in the new Nigerian National Broadband Plan (2020-2025).
“We, therefore on behalf of Nigerian students urge the incoming administration at federal level to continue to work with the NCC Executive Vice Chairman, Prof. Umar Danbatta, to deliver good governance to the people of Nigeria. We are confident that his leadership acumen and experience will continue to take the telecom industry and the economy to greater heights,” the association said.
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