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Online publishers’ major part of our success at NCC—Danbatta

Strategic partnership with leading online publishers in Nigeria have been described by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) as one of the best steps by government agencies and private companies to achieving unprecedented outreach of its services or products both nationwide and internationally.

In his remarks during a virtual meeting with leading Nigerian Online Publishers, currently partnering with the Commission on Wednesday, 12 August 2020, the Executive Vice Chairman, Prof Umar Danbatta, ably represented by Director, Public Affairs at the Commission, Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde, who first brought warm greetings from the Executive-Vice Chairman, averred that “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.”

Continuing, the recalled that “I assumed duties as the Director of Public Affairs on the 23rd of June, 2020. I have been in the system for a long time and have taken on several responsibilities and acted in various capacities. I also had the opportunity to head the Digital Bridge Institute, where, by nature of the job amongst other things, I had to interface with the media, so this is really not new to me.

While noting that the Commission has as one of its strategic tenets, deliberate partnership and collaboration with our various stakeholders, NCC boss stressed that “There is no doubt that journalism and the way we report and disseminate news have changed in fundamental ways by virtue of technology.

According to him, “The Covid 19 pandemic has also drastically changed the way we 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.

“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.

“There has been a considerable increase in the number of people accessing the news via online platforms, especially among younger audiences, 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.

“The communications sector and telecoms, in particular, is indeed the most vibrant and dynamic sector of the economy  and requires excellent leadership and stewardship, no wonder  President Muhammadu Buhari recently approved the reappointment of Prof. Umar Danbatta as the EVC/CEO of the NCC for another term of five years which has since been  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 Commissions activities and initiatives.

On our part, we will continue to work with you to accomplish the goals and objectives which define our shared interests in building the ICT Sector and telecom in particular for the greater good of Nigerians.

“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 our supervising ministry and other relevant industry stakeholders to extend the frontiers of the digital economy for Nigerians.

The EVC further used the occassion to to solicit your continuous support in the area of enlightening the general public on the various consumer-centric regulatory initiatives of the Commission, saying “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.

He was however quick to advise publishers “to always contact the Commission for necessary clarifications to ensure accurate and adequate reporting of the industry, as the NCC runs an Open House to our 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.”

Responding in a goodwill message on behalf of the over 26 participating online publishers, Prince Stan Okenwa, founder of Business Hilights Online and Director General of Digital Economy Media Support Volunteers’ (DEMS Volunteers), an industry advocacy pressure group, thanked NCC for the flourishing media partnership.

He was quick to aver that latest statistics from Google Analytics on media presence of MDAs in Nigeria show that NCC is far reported more than its peers and therefore advised the Commission to show other MDAs the way to strategic media presence and how it works.