In clear recognition of the critical role Nigeria is playing on the global telecom stage, the country has been re-elected earlier as a Council member of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the United Nation’s specialised agency that oversees global telecommunication operations.
As a result, Nigeria will serve on the Council again from 2023-2026. Nigeria became a member of the Union on November 4, 1961. The USA joined on July 1, 1908; the United Kingdom, on February 24, 1871, and UAE on June 27, 1972.
The Nigerian delegation was successfully led to the global event by the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami.
Other members of the delegation include the Chairman, Board of Commissioners of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Adeolu Akande, and the Executive Vice Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta.
Commenting on Nigeria’s re-election into the council, the Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Prof. Umar Danbatta, thanked the ITU member states for the confidence it has in Nigeria expressed by the re-election into the Council, in which the country has been playing a critical role over the years.
“The re-election of Nigeria as a member of ITU Council for the next four years, again, points to the globally-recognised leadership role Nigeria is playing in Africa and at the level of ITU Council in the area of telecommunications policy formulation and technical regulations development to drive ITU’s mission and vision,” the EVC said.
The election of Nigeria and other countries, on Monday, October 3, 2022, into different regional groups that constitute ITU Council, was the high point of the Plenipotentiary Conference 2022 (PP-22) ongoing in Bucharest, the capital city of the Republic of Romania.
The International Communication Union is governed by the Plenipotentiary Conference and the Administrative Council. The Plenipotentiary Conference is the supreme organ of the Union. It is the decision-making body which determines the direction of the Union and its activities.
More about the ITU event
The ITU, originally established in 1865 as the International Telegraph Union and became a United Nations specialised agency in 1947, was set up to coordinate telecommunications operations and services throughout the world. It is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland.
At the conference, which started on September 26, 2022, and is scheduled to end on October 14, 2022, member states at the event voted on the composition of the next ITU Council and the 12 representatives to serve on the Radio Regulations Board (RRB) for the next four years.
The 21st Plenipotentiary Conference of the Council, also saw the election by member states, of Doreen Bogdan-Martin of the United States of America as the organisation’s next Secretary-General.
Like Nigeria and the countries elected into the Council, Bogdan-Martin, as the first woman to lead ITU in its 157-year history, will begin her four-year term from January 2023, when Houlin Zhao would have completed his second final term of four years in office as ITU Secretary General.
Elections of member states also took place in Region A for The Americas (nine seats); Region B for Western Europe (eight seats); Region C for Eastern Europe & Northern Asia (five seats); and Region E, for Asia and Australasia with 13 seats as Africa.
The Council, on the other hand, acts as the Union’s governing body in the interval between Plenipotentiary Conferences. Its role is to consider broad telecommunication policy issues to ensure that the Union’s activities, policies, and strategies fully respond to today’s dynamic, rapidly changing telecommunications environment.
ITU Council also prepares a report on the policy and strategic planning of the Union, and it is responsible for ensuring the smooth day-to-day running of the Council, coordinating work programmes, approving budgets, and controlling finances and expenditures.
The Council also takes all steps to facilitate the implementation of the provisions of the Union’s Constitution, its Convention, the Administrative Regulations (International Telecommunications Regulations and Radio Regulations), the decisions of Plenipotentiary Conferences, and where appropriate, the decisions of other conferences and meetings of the Union.
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