Danbatta, NCC boss, bags prestigious Zik Prize

…He’s  square page in  square hole — Prof. Utomi

The Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive of the Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, emerged the winner of the 2019 Zik Prize, in the professional leadership category.

Announcing the winners in a webinar on Thursday, 24, 2020, Prof. Pat Utomi, a member of the Advisory Board of the prestigious award, said Prof, Danbatta and Mr. Kennedy Uzoka, the Group Director/Chief Executive Officer of United Bank for Africa () are the winners in that category.

“Prof Umar Garba Danbatta is a square page in a square hole. An academic professor, Danbatta , through the NCC, led the to drive Nigeria’s industrial revolution and knowledge-based economy leveraging telecommunications,” he explained.








According to Prof. Utomi, “telecommunications’ contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Nigeria grown by 70 per cent from 2015 to 2020, whilst broadband penetration leaped from 8 percent to 42 percent, in the same period.”

“His leadership has enhanced transparency and in the sector, such that recently, NCC acknowledged by the International Telecommunication (ITU), as one of Africa’s foremost ,” he observed.

In a letter of nomination in July 2020, which jointly signed by the Chairman of the Board, Senator Jubril Aminu, CON and Utomi, the NCC boss described as “an outstanding public servant, whose initiatives and reforms had contributed to Information and Communications Technology (ICT) playing a leading role in the socio-economic development of Nigeria.”







Zik Prize set up in 1994 in honour of the first President of Nigeria, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, with a view to encouraging and nurturing leadership in Africa and the diaspora.

Among the past winners are: former President of Ghana, J. J. Rawligs (1995); Nelson Mandela, President Yonweri Muzeveni of Uganda and former Chairman of NCC’s Governing Board, Alhaji Ahmed Joda, among other illustrious leaders of the continent.








Among this year’s winners, however, include the Senate President, Dr. Ahmed Lawal and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Boss Mustafa, who won in political leadership and public service categories, respectively.

Others are Governor of Borno State, Babagana Umara Zulum, his counterpart from Delta State, Senator Ifeanyi and Oyo State Governor, Engr. Oluseyi Makinde, who won in good governance category.