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Nigeria Re-Elected As ITU Council Member

Nigeria was re-elected as a Council member of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the United Nations specialized body that regulates international telecommunication operations, on Monday, in a clear indication of the crucial role that Nigeria is playing in the world telecom arena. Nigeria will take another seat on the Council from 2023 to 2026.

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 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.

Hon. Minister of Communications & Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, casting his vote at the ongoing ITU Plenipotentiary Conference 2022 in Bucharest, Romania on Monday.

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 organization’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.

The seats in ITU Council are divided into five regions, A to E. Nigeria was elected into the ITU Council Region D for Africa, which has 13 seats. The other 12 countries elected alongside Nigeria are Algeria, Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Mauritius, Morocco, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Tunisia, and Uganda.

Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, also cast his vote at the ongoing ITU Plenipotentiary Conference 2022 in Bucharest, Romania on Monday.

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.

Commenting on Nigeria’s re-election as an ITU Council member, 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-elected into the ITU 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-recognized 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 ITU, originally established in 1865 as the International Telegraph Union and became a United Nations specialized agency in 1947, was set up to coordinate telecommunications operations and services throughout the world. It is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland.

Nigeria became a member of ITU 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 ITU 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 that determines the direction of the Union and its activities.

The Council, on the other hand, acted 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 prepared a report on the policy and strategic planning of the ITU, and it is responsible for ensuring the smooth day-to-day running of the Union, coordinating work programmes, approving budgets, and controlling finances and expenditures.

The Council also took all steps to facilitate the implementation of the provisions of the ITU Constitution, the ITU 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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