Governor Babagana Umara Zulum of Borno state, and the Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, have emerged winners of the 2019 Zik Prize.
Zulum won the 2019 Zik prize for leadership in the state while Danbatta emerged winner of the 2019 Zik Prize in the professional leadership category.
By the leadership prize winning, Zulum has become the first Governor to clinch it in his first term in office.
Announcing the prize Thursday at a zoom press conference, Prof. Pat Utomi disclosed that “Prof. Zulum is a revolutionary Governor, who has
become one of Nigeria’s most accomplished leaders within a short period of time.
“He was one of eight winners of the annual award,” adding that “the formal presentation is slated for December 6, 2020.”
According to him, Prof. Zulum was honoured for good governance, accountability and transparency within a short period of administration.
He said Prof Umar Garba Danbatta is a square page in a square hole. “An academic professor, Danbatta has, through the NCC, led the charge to drive Nigeria’s industrial revolution and knowledge-based economy leveraging telecommunications,” he explained.
According to Prof. Utomi, “telecoms’ contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Nigeria has grown by 70 per cent from 2015 to 2020, whilst broadband penetration has leaped from 8 percent to 42 percent, in the same period.”
“His leadership has enhanced transparency and innovation in the sector, such that recently, NCC was acknowledged by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), as one of Africa’s foremost regulator,” he observed.
He said the prize winning award was made on behalf of an advisory board of public policy research and analysis centre (PPRAC), led by
Prof. Jubril Aminu, a former minister and senator.
The board has also Prince Emeka Obasi as executive secretary while members comprise Prof. George Obiozor, Chief Marc Obara, Chief Tola
Adeniyi, Alhaji Abdulazeez Udeh and Pat Utomi.
Utomi listed Senate President Ahmed Lawan, SGF Boss Mustapha, Dr Stella Okolli, Kennedy Nduka as winners in various categories of public service, business and professional leadership.
He also announced Nigeria’s 36 Governors for good governance category.
They include Governors Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta, another governor from the southeast in same ‘good governance’ category with Prof. Zulum of Borno state as winners.
Utomi however took time to pay tribute to governor Zulum, stating that; “Governor’s performance has made him the toast of Nigerians across the country.
Governors who have won in previous years did so during second term in office.
The Zik prize for leadership has become one of Nigeria’s prestigious awards given the credibility of advisory board members of the PPRAC.
The Board members are notable personalities; with background from the academia. (SS)