Professor Umar Garba Danbatta is the Executive Vice-Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (EVC/CEO) of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC). He is currently serving a second term of five years in office, following the approval of President Muhammadu Buhari in 2020.
Danbatta earned his BEng, MSc degrees from the Technical University of Wroclaw in Poland and received his PhD from the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (UMIST).
The multiple award-winning professor successfully spearheaded the attainment and surpassing of Nigeria’s national broadband target in 2018, and he is currently among those leading the charge for the realization of the new national broadband target of 70% by 2025, after the country achieved and surpassed its earlier national target of 30% penetration in 2018.
Through effective regulatory regime and various cutting-edge initiatives, Danbatta has strengthened the role of telecommunications sector as a major contributor to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth, and boosted telecoms investment inflows from $36 billion to over $70 billion since 2015, among others.
Before his appointment to lead NCC in 2015, Danbatta, who is a professor of telecommunications engineering, had worked in academia as lecturer where he supervised more than 60 PhD, MEng and BEng projects in diverse areas of telecommunications, rising to the position of Acting Vice-Chancellor in a Nigerian university.
He was the Vice-President of the Digital Bridge Institute (DBI), an international centre for advanced communications studies established in 2004 by the Commission (NCC) for capacity in diverse areas of Information and Communication Technology (ICT).
While at DBI, Danbatta developed expertise in the following major areas of ICT implementation, policy and regulation, including Regulation of the Telecommunications Sector of the Nigerian Economy; Competition, Interconnection and Price Regulations in a Developing Economy; and Issues Concerning Authorization of Telecommunications Services in a Developing Economy.
The other areas of his expertise are 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, among others.
He is a recipient of scores of distinguished awards and certificates of honour both nationally and internationally, including the prestigious Zik Prize in Professional Leadership. His strides in reviving the Emergency Communications Centers (ECCs) and the introduction of harmonized national emergency communication number, 112, helped the NCC to win the International Public Relations Association Golden Award in the year 2000, as the centers played a pivotal role in containing the COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria.
Prof. Danbatta has served two terms of five years as a Member of Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN). He is a Fellow of many professional bodies, including the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), Nigerian Academy of Engineering (NAEng), Renewable and Alternative Energy Society (RAES) and Nigerian Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (NIEEE).
- Fellow, Nigeria Academy of Engineering (FAEng);
- Fellow, Nigerian Society of Engineers (FNSE);
- Fellow, Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineering (FIEEE);
- Fellow, Renewable and Alternative Energy Society of Nigeria (FRAES).
- Ph.D (Honoris Causa), University of Jos
Selected Awards for Danbatta and NCC under his leadership
Professor Danbatta is a recipient of several awards and recognitions both locally and internationally. These include:
- Man Of The Year 2020, Money Report Magazine
- Outstanding Accomplishments In Emergency Management (SEMA 2020).
- Goodwill Ambassador Award In Security And Emergency Management (Security And Emergency Management Awards, SAEMA 2019).
- Most Innovative Federal Regulatory Agency Of The Year (Nita Awards November 2019)
- ITU Telecom World Awards 2019 To NCC For Its Commitment As A Valuable Partner (September 2019)
- Award Of Excellence By Head Of Civil Service Of The Federation To NCC (September 2019)
- Regulator Of The Year Award ICT Watch Awards (July 2019)
- Telecom Personality Of The Year ICT Watch Awards (July 2019)
- National Public Servant Of The Year, 2018 Business Journal Award (September 2019)
- Regulator Of The Year Award (NCC) Nigeria Tech Innovation & Telecom Awards (NTITA) September, 2019.
- Telecom Personality Of The Year Nigeria Tech Innovation & Telecom Awards (NTITA) September 2019.
- Government Agency Of The Year (Beacon Of ICT Awards)
- Pan African Telecomm Regulatory Excellence Nigerian Communications Commission (Africa Digital Heroes Awards (October 2019)
- Award Of Excellence In Technological Development & Leadership Heroes (Kano Heroes Awards 2017).
- The Outstanding Leadership In Broadband Penetration (The 2nd Daar Awards For Outstanding Performance & Good Governance) 2018
- Most Responsive CEO Of The Year (Public Service) By House Of Representatives Press Corp (2018)
- Authority Newspaper Exemplary Public Service Award, 2017
- Beacon Of ICT Awards: Best Use Of Social Media
- 2017-Beacon Of ICT Awards As Telecom Regulator Of The Year
- Human Rights Government Agency Of The Year By Constitutional Rights Awareness And Liberty Initiative (CRALI)
- African Quality Achievement Award 2016 By African Quality Institute
- Personality Of The Year By The Lagos Chamber Of Commerce Industry, Mines And Agriculture
- Fellow Of Renewal And Alternative Energy Society Of Nigeria (RAESON)
- Regulator Of The Year By Nigerian Communications Week
- 2016 Nigerian Academy Of Engineering Lecture Presenter
- Lead Presenter- Senior Executive Course (SEC) Of The National Institute For Policy And Strategic Studies( NIPS)
- Telecoms Man Of The Year 2018--Nigeria Tech Innovation & Telecom Awards (NTITA)
- Telecom Man Of The Year 2017--Nigeria Tech Innovation & Telecom Awards (NTITA)
- Telecoms Personality Of The Year - 12th Nigerian Telecoms Award, Lagos
- Regulator Of The Year By African Leadership Magazine In New York, USA.
- African Regulator Of The Year At The African Information Technology And Telecom Awards (AITTA) In Accra, Ghana.
- Chief Executive Officer Of The Year (Tell Magazine)
- Exceptional Public Service Performance In The Platinum Category (Bureau Of Public Service Reform) Leadership Newspapers Award Of Government Agency Of The Year
- Quality Achievement Award For Best Practices By European Society For Quality Research (ESQR) 2017
- European Award For Best Practices 2016 By An EU Organisation In Brussels, Belgium.
Professor Danbatta, an author and philanthropist, is married with children.