By Josephine Isaac
For Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, the Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the 2022 International Women’s Day became a day for acknowledging his role in women empowerment in the country, as numerous beneficiaries of his efforts decorated him with awards of recognition.
According to a statement by the NCC Spokesperson, Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde, the event was a public lecture organized by the Kano Civil Society Forum (KCSF), an umbrella body of over 200 women’s rights groups, in conjunction with the Aminu Kano Centre for Democratic Studies of Bayero University, to mark the 2022 International Women’s Day (IWD), which Danbatta chaired yesterday in Kano State.
However, while Danbatta, according the programme of event, was to present awards to various women who have distinguished themselves in different endeavours, little did he know that the beneficiaries of various youth entrepreneur skills and other empowerment programmes of both the Commission and his personal charity foundation, Danbatta Charity Foundation (NCF), planned an ambush to present their own prizes to him.
In the same vein, the CDS, Mumbayya House and KCSF also presented their award of recognition to the EVC, leaving the NCC boss visibly surprised.
Earlier, Danbatta told the gathering that he is a strong believer of the potentiality of womenfolk and he has never hesitated to entrust responsibilities to his female colleagues because he has always found them to be very reliable when assigned with official tasks.
“I am a very, very strong believer of the tremendous potentiality of members of the womenfolk. And they do it with such finesse, not with any aggression like men do. Women, by their very nature, are tender. They attend to whatever they are doing with finesse in a very careful manner. And they deliver on targets given to them before deadlines,” he emphasised.
Speaking further, the EVC said, he has never given an assignment to any of the women in the Commission, which was not delivered before the deadline, “to the extent that, ladies and gentlemen, I am always comfortable to have a woman chair committee, whenever there is a need”.
Danbatta, who said that respect for women is natural to him, as it is one of the values his late mum inculcated in him, expressed his delight about the fact that women are now working their way to the top echelon of responsibilities in the country.
“We now have women in every sector of the economy, in every area of human endeavour. We have them as engineers, medical doctors, seasoned administrators, name it. In the Commission I am heading we have four female directors. The Director of Zonal Operations is a woman. The Director of Policy competition, and Economic Analysis is a woman, and also a lawyer.
“Equally, the Director of Legal and Regulatory Services is a woman, and lastly the Director of Projects. And I am not saying this out of any disrespect for the womenfolk. Far from that. Importantly, more than 50% of the workforce in NCC is made up of women,” Danbatta informed his audience.
The NCC boss further stated that the Commission is particularly committed to bridging the gender-oriented digital divide. Hence, the NCC has put, in the front burner, the need to expose girls and young women to more opportunities in the digital ecosystem, in line with the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) resolution 70, which advocates gender mainstreaming and promotion of gender equality, as well as the empowerment of women through information and communications technology (ICT).
The EVC later commissioned the e-library of the Aminu Kano Centre for Democratic Studies, an arm of Bayero University, which was donated by the Commission in line with the Federal Government’s commitment to the promotion of digital economy programmes.