Prof Danbatta named NCC chief

By Kokumo Goodie, Lagos, Nigeria 

President Muhammadu Buhari has appointed Prof Umar Garba Danbatta as the new Executive Vice Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC).

He succeeds Dr. Eugene Ikemefuna Juwah, who completed his five-year first term about two weeks ago.

The high point of Juwah’s tenure was the shut-down of the 35350 Campaign Fund Raising Platform for sending N100 text message to the fund raising campaign of President Buhari who was then the presidential candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC).

Before the platform was shut down, 5400 people had contributed N100 to through the campaign funds of the Buhari/Osinbajo presidential bid.

Former Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola who was Director, Buhari-Osinbajo Fund Raising Campaign had accused the then ruling party of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan of attempting to cripple the APC using Juwah as hatchet man. He said in 2010, the same platform was granted by the NCC to raise fund for the Jonathan-Sambo campaign, and appealed to the Jonathan to direct NCC to restore the platform as the people’s freedom was being gagged.

Prof Danbatta hails from Danbatta Local Government Council of Kano State and obtained his BEng, MSc and PhD degrees from the Technical University of Wroclaw in Poland and the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology UK respectively.

Before his appointment, he had served as a lecturer in the Department of Electrical Engineering, Faculty of Technology, Bayero University Kano for 28 years, where he taught courses in telecoms engineering and electronics and held academic positions of Dean, Faculty and Head of Department at different times. His main administrative responsibilities, in the university, included Deputy and Acting Dean of Students’ Affairs, Administrator of the Works Department and later, Director, Centre for Information Technology (CIT). He was also chairman to, or member of, over 60 university committees and task forces. In administrative and other responsibilities outside the university, he has served as chairman or member to over 20 committees, prominent among which was the Chairmanship of the Implementation Committee of Kano State University of Science & Technology and subsequently became its pioneer Deputy and Acting Vice-Chancellor when it took off in 2001.

Prof. Danbatta has supervised more than 60 PhD, MEng and BEng projects in the diverse areas of telecommunications and has also served as external examiner to seven universities and polytechnics and is an assessor, technical reviewer and editorial member to eight research journals. He is a recipient of 18 distinguished awards and certificates of honour. Prof. Danbatta, who had served two terms of five years as a Member of Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN), is also a COREN registered engineer and member of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE). He has to his credit more than 50 articles in journals, conference proceedings and technical reports. He is also the author of a six-chapter, 167-page book titled Elements of Static Engineering Electromagnetics.

He was the Vice President, Digital Bridge Institute (DBI), International Centre for Advanced Communications Studies, which was established in 2004 by the NCC to build capacity for the Nigerian/African telecom industry in the diverse areas of Information and Communication Technology (ICT). While at DBI he developed expertise in the ICT policy implementation, and regulation in areas such as Regulation of the Telecommunications Sector of the Nigerian Economy; Competition, Interconnection and Price Regulations in a Developing Economy; Issues concerning Authorisation of Telecommunications Services in a Developing Economy;Strategies for ensuring Universal Access and Service to Telecommunications Services; Strategies towards Effective Spectrum Management in a Developing Economy; Issues on Institutional and Legal Framework for Effective Regulation of Telecommunications Services; and New and Emerging Technologies and Impact on Regulation of the Telecommunications Sector of a Developing Economy.

Prof Danbatta, who recently served as a member of the Implementation Committee of the Northwest University Kano, is presently the Acting Vice-Chancellor of Kano University of Science & Technology, Wudil.

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