The Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Danbatta has hailed the decision of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the United Nations specialised agency that oversees global telecommunication operations to re-elect Nigeria into the new council.
Believing that the re-election is in clear recognition of the critical role Nigeria is playing on the global telecom stage, Prof. Danbatta noted that the re-election will spur Nigeria to contribute further to the growth of telecom in Africa.
“We thank the ITU member states for the confidence it has in Nigeria expressed by the re-elected into the ITU Council, in which the country has been playing a critical role over the years. The re-election of Nigeria as a member of ITU Council for the next four years, again, points to the globally-recognized leadership role Nigeria is playing in Africa and at the level of ITU Council in the area of telecommunications policy formulation and technical regulations development to drive ITU’s mission and vision,” he said.
The election of Nigeria and other countries, on Monday, October 3, 2022, into different regional groups that constitute ITU Council, was the high point of the Plenipotentiary Conference 2022 (PP-22) ongoing in Bucharest, the capital city of the Republic of Romania.
The 21st Plenipotentiary Conference of the Council, also saw the election by member states, of Doreen Bogdan-Martin of the United States of America as the organisation’s next Secretary-General.
Like Nigeria and the countries elected into the Council, Bogdan-Martin, as the first woman to lead ITU in its 157-year history, will begin her four-year term from January 2023, when Houlin Zhao would have completed his second final term of four years in office as ITU Secretary General.
The seats in ITU Council are divided into five regions, A to E. Nigeria was elected into the ITU Council, Region D for Africa, which has 13 seats. The other 12 countries elected alongside Nigeria are Algeria; Egypt; Ghana; Kenya; Mauritius; Morocco; Rwanda; Senegal; South Africa; Tanzania; Tunisia; Uganda.
Elections of member states also took place in Region A for The Americas (nine seats); Region B for Western Europe (eight seats); Region C for Eastern Europe & Northern Asia (five seats); and Region E, for Asia and Australasia with 13 seats as Africa.
Nigeria became a member of ITU on November 4, 1961. The USA joined on July 1, 1908; United Kingdom, on February 24, 1871, and UAE on June 27, 1972.
The Nigerian delegation was successfully led to the global event by the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami. Other members of the delegation include the Chairman, Board of Commissioners of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Adeolu Akande, and the Executive Vice Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta.