In recognition of the diligence, thoroughness, stakeholder inclusiveness, and the superlative outcome that attended the auction of the processes towards the deployment of Fifth Generation (5G) network in Nigeria, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has been conferred with an award of excellence as the “Public Sector Regulator of the Year 2021.”
The award was conferred Neptune Network Nigeria Limited, which organised the conferment ceremony concurrently with the launch of the Lami Fatima Babare Cervical Cancer Awareness Foundation. The event took place at the Sheraton Hotel and Towers Abuja, on Wednesday, March 16, 2022.
Speaking at the award ceremony, the Chief Executive Officer, Neptune Network Nigeria Limited, Hassan Gimba, said aside the recognition of NCC’s pioneering regulatory role in leading the processes for 5G deployment in Nigeria in the West African subregion, the Commission was adjudged winner of the award based on its historic auction of the 3.5 gigahertz (GHz) spectrum in preparation for the deployment of 5G services which will become operational in the second half of this year.
According to Gimba, the spectrum auction was not only competitive, it was thoroughly, painstakingly and successfully completed with the final bid ending at a price 30 per cent higher ($273.6 million) than the initial offer of $197.4 million. “This is not only historically remarkable in terms of organisation, it is commendable because it brought substantial revenue to the coffers of Federal Government to enhance socio-economic development of other sectors in Nigeria”, Gimba asserted.
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Other reasons cited by the organisers of the event for considering the Commission worthy of the award, include the recognition of its various regulatory efforts and strategic initiatives that have resulted in impressive contribution of the telecommunications industry to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). This has helped to lift the country out of recession and bolstered national economic recovery strategies.
The conferment of the award was also premised on the remarkable role the Commission has been playing in cybersecurity awareness campaign focused on informing, educating and protecting the teeming telecom consumers from falling victim to the wiles of cyber criminals. The organisers particularly placed on record the establishment by the NCC of the Computer Security Incident Response Team (CSIRT), the telecom industry’s sectoral watchdog for cyber threats. The Neptune Network, said it was gratified by the regular alerts to telecoms consumers on any novel cyber threats which were based on the works of CSIRT and the Nigeria Computer Emergency Response Team (ngCERT), the national centre for the coordination of incident response and mitigation strategies for cyber threats.
Gimba commended the Commission under the leadership of Prof. Umar Danbatta, its Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, for creating an enabling environment for competition to thrive among operators in the industry and its unwavering commitment in expanding the nation’s frontiers of growth and development through accelerating broadband infrastructure deployment.
Receiving the award on behalf of the Commission, in the full glare of other eminent Nigerians, including the representative of Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno State, who was knighted as Governor of the Year, the NCC’s Head of Online Media, Dr. Omoniyi Ibietan, thanked the Management of Neptune Network Nigeria Limited for the recognition. He stated that the Commission will not rest on its oars because the award has boosted NCC’s determination to work even more, within the framework of its mandate, for the benefit of the Nigerian people.
“On behalf of the Board and Management of the Commission led by our inspiring Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, I convey the gratitude of Commission to the organisers of this event and thank them for this special recognition. The Commission treasures this gesture and sees it as another wake-up call to do more in the effort to unleash the full potential of Nigeria’s digital economy,” Ibietan said.