A telecom stakeholder group, the Nigeria Information Technology Reporters’ Association (NITRA) has attributed the staggering $77 billion investments to Nigeria’s telecom sector to the regulatory prowess of the Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta in the last eight years.
The group in a statement signed by its National Chairman, Chike Onwuegbuchi noted Danbatta’s remarkable leadership and the unprecedented achievements in the nation’s telecom sector, catapulted the sector to the forefront of the nation’s economic landscape.
“Under Danbatta’s visionary leadership, Nigeria’s telecom sector has witnessed an astounding transformation, transcending previous limitations and emerging as a beacon of progress. His eight-year tenure as the EVC of the NCC has seen the sector attract a staggering $77 billion in investments, catapulting it to the forefront of the nation’s economic landscape,” the statement reads.
The ICT group lauded Danbatta for overseeing a sector that now contributes a substantial 16 percent to Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), a notable increase from its 8 percent contribution in 2015. The financial impact of the sector is undeniable, with a recent report from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) revealing a significant N2.508 trillion contribution to the nation’s GDP in the first quarter of 2023, representing 14.13 percent.
“One of the key achievements highlighted by the ICT community was Danbatta’s bold move to embrace 5G technology, positioning Nigeria as an early adopter in the global digital economy. This strategic decision resulted in the generation of $820.8 million for the federal government from 5G spectrum license fees paid by leading operators,” it added.
“Furthermore, the issuance of a license to Elon Musk-owned SpaceX for Starlinks broadband services, a satellite-based wireless broadband offering with nationwide coverage potential, has been a game-changer for the industry and a testament to Danbatta’s forward-thinking approach,” he said.
The ICT group also emphasized the remarkable growth in telephone users, internet subscribers, and broadband users under Danbatta’s stewardship, which has soared to 218.9 million, 159.5 million, and 88.7 million, respectively, noting that these figures, along with the creation of numerous jobs, have underscored the sector’s pivotal role in Nigeria’s economic development.