The telecommunications sector has been described as the most vibrant and dynamic sector of the Nigerian economy.
Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta made the remarks at a virtual meeting of the commission with online partners on Wednesday.
The EVC who spoke through Director, Public Affairs in the Commission, Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde said the primacy of the sector to the Nigerian economy underscores the need for an excellent leadership and stewardship, hence President Muhammadu Buhari recently approved the reappointment of Prof. Umar Danbatta as the EVC/CEO of the NCC for another term of five years, confirmed by the Senate.
“ The fate of Nigeria’s telecommunications industry has yet again been entrusted to a tested and trusted hand and you have a role to play to ensure factual reportage of the Commission’s activities and initiatives”, the EVC said.
Speaking on the role of the online media in contemporary society, Danbatta said there has been a considerable increase in the number of people accessing the news via online platforms, especially among younger audiences, stressing, “it’s our vision therefore to make NCC the leading public sector brand in the use of online media for organizational communication and stakeholder engagement”.
He identified one of the strategic tenets of the NCC as deliberate partnership and collaboration with its various stakeholders.
“We see you as a major part of our success and will like to appreciate your contributions, timely and accurate dissemination of news and information regarding our regulatory activities as a telecoms industry regulator”, the EVC said, adding that journalism and indeed the way news is reported and disseminated has changed in fundamental ways by virtue of technology and that the COVID-19 pandemic has also drastically changed the way individuals communicate and interact with digital platforms, becoming the norm for carrying out official and personal activities.
“This virtual meeting today is a testament to this new normal”, he said. Danbatta noted that the digital media environment has brought about new opportunities and challenges for online journalists.
“One of the many benefits of what you do as an online journalist is the real-time dissemination of information and the immediacy it involves.
“The availability of online news 24/7 and its accessibility and availability to consumers make your work very important, you are therefore constantly faced with the challenge of not only reporting events real-time, sometimes, but balancing that need for speed with the accuracy and integrity demanded by your profession”, he said.
He revealed that the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS), the New National Broadband Plan (2020-2025), the NCC Strategic Management Plan (2020-2024), creation of the Digital Economy Department all underscore the policy directions of the Federal Government which the NCC is expected to drive, working with the supervising ministry and other relevant industry stakeholders to extend the frontiers of the digital economy for Nigerians.
“Let me use this opportunity to solicit your continuous support in the area of enlightening the general public on the various consumer-centric regulatory initiatives of the Commission. As our online media partners, I urge you to constantly visit the NCC’s official website (www.ncc.gov.ng) which is a repository of information and necessary latest statistics on the performance of the telecommunications industry.
“We also urge you to always contact the Commission for necessary clarifications to ensure accurate and adequate reporting of the industry”, he said and that the NCC runs an Open House for media stakeholders.
“We call on your support and continued collaboration in reporting our activities and initiatives for the good of every Nigerian and for the growth of the telecom industry, your role is indeed very critical. On our part we are committed to working with you as much as we can and within the budget that we have available”, he said.
Danbatta reiterated the NCC’s resolve in ensuring that Nigerians are enlightened and carried along on the Commission’s journey to advance the digital economy agenda of President Muhammadu Buhari and that members of the 4th estate of the realm are indeed critical stakeholders in the journey.