Danbatta reappointed as executive vice-chairman of Nigeria’s telecom regulator

by | Jun 6, 2020

On Friday, June 5, 2020, President Muhammadu Buhari confirmed the reappointment of  Professor Umar Garba Danbatta as the executive vice-chairman (EVC) and CEO of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the country’s telecom regulator.

The NCC stated that the reappointment was based on the recommendation of the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami.

According to the NCC, the Nigerian federal government made the move in order to consolidate the recent gains made in the nation’s telecom sector. Pantami also urged the NCC’s EVC to improve on milestones already made by the commission, in line with the federal government’s policies.

Recall that on August 4 2015, President Buhari appointed Danbatta as EVC of the NCC in an acting capacity, taking over the helm from previous EVC, Dr Eugene Juwah, upon expiration of the latter’s five-year tenure.


On November 26, the Nigerian Senate confirmed his appointment as the EVC of the country’s telecom regulator where he has served for the past 5 years.

Prof. Danbatta obtained his BEng and MSc degrees from the Technical University of Wroclaw in Poland, and his PhD from the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (UMIST), the UK.

He also served as a telecommunications lecturer in the Department of Electrical Engineering, Faculty of Technology of Bayero University, Kano for 28 years. He was Dean of Faculty, Head of Department, Deputy and Acting Dean of Students, and later, the Director of the Centre for Information Technology.

His appointment comes on the back of some major milestones in Nigeria’s telecom industry, will lead these recent developments in Nigeria’s telecom sector.

Earlier in February 2020, the Ministry of Communication and Digital Economy announced a new national broadband plan, upon expiration of the old one in 2018. The new plan envisaged a 70% broadband penetration and a 90% 4G coverage by 2025, amongst other goals.

We, however, noted that the achievement of this plan will require more effort since it appeared to face similar problems that hindered the realisation of the previous plans. These include Right of Way (RoW) charges to lay fibre-optic cables along state roads, vandalism of telecom equipment and power.

Encouragingly, in the past few weeks, a number of Nigerian states — Ekiti, Kaduna, Imo, Plateau, Kastina, Anambra and Kwara — drastically reduced RoW fees from between ₦4500 ($11.59) and ₦145 ($0.37) per metre. Kaduna ordered a total waive, and Anambra reduced it to ₦1 per metre.

Last week, the federal government also declared that all telecom infrastructure as Critical National Infrastructure (CNI). This means national security operatives will be deployed to protect telecom infrastructure as is done with oil pipelines and power.


Within Danbatta’s five year tenure, NCC granted a temporary license for MTN to conduct a 5G demo in Lagos, Abuja, and Calabar, which has since concluded.

It also implemented the Do-not-disturb rule to put an end to incessant messages from various service providers, a move which had several ripple effects.

The regulator has fined telcos repeatedly for various defaults and it has made great strides in improving customer support across various platforms.

The next five years will likely be an interesting one for Nigeria’s telecommunications sector as the country seeks to deepen connectivity across the nation.

Emmanuel Paul
Emmanuel Paul

Writer and Narrator.  Tech, business and policies fills my head. Looking to chat? Catch up with me (@eruskkii) on Twitter or send a mail to emmanuel@techpoint.africa

On January 22, 2022, be part of the largest gathering of innovators, startup founders, thinkers, programmers, policymakers, and investors in West Africa. Register free.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Recent News

Subscribe to Techpoint Digest!

A daily 5-minute roundup of happenings in African and global tech, sent directly to your email inbox, between 5 a.m. and 7 a.m (WAT) every week day!

Please check your email to confirm your subscription.

Subscribe to Crypto Explorer

A monthly series featuring in-depth analysis on the cryptocurrency sector in Africa

Please check your email to confirm your subscription.

Subscribe to The Experts

A bi-weekly where tech career specialists take us on their journey from newbie to expert, and how they became successful in the industry.

Please check your email to confirm your subscription.

Subscribe to Founder's Table

A monthly series, where we catch up with founders in the startup ecosystem, learn about their failures, successes and a few tricks of the trade

Please check your email to confirm your subscription.

Copy link
Powered by Social Snap