By Etuka Sunday
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and its Executive Vice Chairman, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta have been Awarded for quality Regulatory Supervision, especially the critical role of keeping Nigerians and businesses connected since the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic in the country.
Two of the awards, ‘Human Rights Telecoms Defender’ for the EVC and ‘Human Rights Guard’ for the Commission, as a corporate entity, were presented by Wheel of Hope Human Rights Foundation (WHHRF), a frontline Nigerian Non-Governmental Organisation.
The third award, ‘Icon of a Greater Nigeria’ was presented to the EVC by the Youth Coalition Against Corruption (YOCAC), a coalition of Nigerian youths from all walks of life.
Coincidentally, WHHRF and YOCAC adduced similar reasons for finding the EVC and Commission deserving of the recognitions.
Director, Public Affairs, NCC, Dr. Ikeckukwu Adinde, who received the awards on behalf of the EVC, appreciated the organisations for their gestures, noting that the three awards will serve as an encouragement to the Commission to continue to strengthen effective, fair and transparent regulation of the telecommunications industry.
“On behalf of the EVC and Chief Executive of NCC, we thank you for these recognitions. These latest awards will add to the long list of laurels in the NCC’s kitty. There are many initiatives by the Commission, to ensure increased connectivity, improved quality of service and consumer rights protection,” Adinde said while restating the NCC’s commitment to consumer-centric initiatives that promote digital inclusion and advance the digital economy vision of the government.
In his remarks, Chairman, WHHRF, Jide Abdulazeez, said the presentation of the two awards by the Foundation was in recognition of “the leading role the Commission has been playing in sustaining access to telecoms services throughout the period of the lockdown, following the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic.”
He added that the role of NCC in making the 112 Emergency Number available to Nigerians to report COVID-19-related cases and other emergencies; as well as its efforts in consistently protecting the rights and privileges of telecoms consumers, through effective resolutions of service-related complains, are part of the reasons for finding the Commission worthy of the awards.
In the same vein, the National Coordinator, YOCAC, Dahiru Umaru, said, “the Icon of Greater Nigeria Award conferred on the EVC is in recognition of his leadership qualities and achievements which have engendered quality regulatory supervision of the telecoms industry by ensuring that telecom consumers are not unduly shortchanged, especially during the critical stage of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
According to him, the Commission has been contributing immensely to the growth of the Nigerian economy by ensuring robust telecom infrastructure, making it possible for Nigerians to leverage social media and other digital platforms to ventilate their views against corrupt practices in order to ensure good governance in the country.