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NCC Boss, Danbatta, Challenges Media To Set Clear Agenda For Credible Elections Next Year

The Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Professor Umar Danbatta, has challenged Nigerian media to set agenda for peaceful and credible elections that will usher in new government across the country next year.

Danbatta, who spoke today, November 13 at the 18th All-Nigeria Editors Conference, organised by the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) at the Concord Hotels in Owerri, Imo State, said that he “believes the editors will leave the conference with resolutions setting clear, unambiguous and very robust parameters to guide the role of the media in the forthcoming elections in a fair, objective and balanced manner.

“Beyond and above the traditional routine role of the media in information-sharing, education and entertainment, the media is a social agency constitutionally charged to watch those of us in public office from derailing from the pursuit of the social contract and the social good. No other agency of the civil society is so positioned to influence social progress.”

Professor Danbatta, whose message was delivered by the Commission’s Director of Public Affairs, Reuben Moukai reiterated the importance of the roles of the journalists, before, during and after the 2023 elections.

He expressed the confidence that the vibrant Nigerian media, credited with its sterling performance from the history of struggle for the country’s political independence, where Nigerian nationalists, who were good journalists made “brilliant and courageous outing”, will work in the interest of the nation.

Speaking on the theme of the conference: “2023: Political Landscape, Credible Elections and the Role of the Editors,” NCC boss said that good journalism is critical to sustainable democratic culture as political stability is enhanced by conduct of successful elections.

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He informed the gathering that the Commission is dedicated to the implementation of the Nigerian National Broadband Plan (2020-2025), and the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (2020-2030), among other regulatory instruments, with a view to enhancing connectivity and social cohesion in the land. Hence, he said befitting infrastructure, including the upcoming 5G spectrum auction, are all aimed at improving availability and accessibility and affordability.

He said there is no doubt that the availability of telecommunications infrastructure will enhance credibility of elections.

Professor Danbatta expressed gratitude to the Nigeria media for trusting the NCC and supporting its efforts to fulfil its mandate right from the beginning of the transition from “state-dominated telecommunication operations to a deregulated, more liberalised market.”

He recalled that NCC’s friendship and partnership with the media have been very mutually-fruitful, as the Commission has leveraged on the media for increased awareness by the public of NCC’s activities, programmes and achievements.

He commended the journalists covering the telecom sector as well as other communication professionals for supporting the Commission all the way by giving adequate and prominent coverage to its successes in consumer protection, improvement in infrastructure, adoption of new technologies, most recently, the launch of the Fifth Generation (5G) networks, and reportage of challenges facing the telecom industry.

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