In clear recognition of the critical role Nigeria is playing on the global telecom stage, the country was re-elected earlier today as a Council member of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) – the United Nations’ specialised agency that oversees global telecommunication operations. Nigeria will serve on the Council again from 2023-2026.
The election of Nigeria and other countries, on Monday, October 3, 2022, into different regional groups that constitute ITU Council, was the highpoint of the Plenipotentiary Conference 2022 (PP-22) ongoing in Bucharest, the capital city of the Republic of Romania. The 12 representatives who would sit on the Radio Regulations Board (RRB) for the upcoming four years were chosen by member nations during the conference, which began on September 26, 2022, and was slated to end on October 14, 2022.
Five areas (A through E) make up the ITU Council seats; and Nigeria was chosen to fill one of the 13 seats in ITU Council Region D for Africa. Algeria, Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Mauritius, Morocco, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Tunisia, and Uganda are among the additional 12 nations that were elected alongside Nigeria. Members were also chosen to fill the nine seats in Region A for the Americas, the eight seats in Region B for Western Europe, the five seats in Region C for Eastern Europe and Northern Asia, and the 13 seats in Region E for Asia and Australasia as Africa.
Prof. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, the honorable minister of communications and digital economy, led the Nigerian delegation to the international event. Prof. Adeolu Akande, Chairman, Board of Commissioners, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), and Prof. Umar Danbatta, Executive Vice Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of NCC, are additional members of the delegation. Prof. Umar Danbatta, the Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the ITU, expressed gratitude to the ITU member states for their continued support of Nigeria by electing it to the ITU Council, a position in which it has long played a crucial role. “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.
To coordinate global telecommunications operations and services, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), which was first founded in 1865 as the International Telegraph Union and later became a specialized agency of the United Nations, was created. The company’s main office is in Geneva, Switzerland. The ITU admitted Nigeria on November 4, 1961. On July 1, 1908, the USA joined; on February 24, 1871, the UK; and on June 27, 1972, the UAE. 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 which determines the direction of the Union and its activities. 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.
The ITU Council is in charge of overseeing the day-to-day operations of the Union, coordinating work programs, approving budgets, and managing finances and spending. It also prepares a report on the policy and strategic planning of the ITU. The Council also makes every effort to make the provisions of the ITU Constitution, ITU Convention, Administrative Regulations (International Telecommunications Regulations and Radio Regulations), decisions of Plenipotentiary Conferences, and, as necessary, decisions of other conferences and meetings of the Union, easier to implement.
Doreen Bogdan-Martin of the United Nations was chosen by member states to be the organization’s new Secretary-General at the 21st Plenipotentiary Conference of the Council. As the first woman to lead ITU in its 157-year history, Bogdan-Martin will begin her four-year term in January 2023, when Houlin Zhao would have finished his second and final term of four years as ITU Secretary General. She will serve alongside Nigeria and the other nations elected to the Council.