The Executive Commissioner (Technical Services) of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) Dr Bashir Gwandu has now taken over as the Chairman of The Commonwealth ITU Group (the CIG). Gwandu was unanimously elected as Chairman by the meeting of CIG, at Marlborough House -the Headquarters of the Commonwealth in London following his nomination to the Membership by the outgoing Chairman of the CIG, Dr Bruce Gracie, the Canadian Special Advisor, International Organizations, Industry Canada, Canadian Regulator, who has been chairman of CIG for the last 5 Years. Mr Gracie took over the Chairmanship of CIG from Mr Malcolm Johnson, formerly of Ofcom –the UK Regulator, and currently the Director of the Standardization Bureau of the ITU (the ITU-T).
Gwandu now doubles as Chairman of the Commonwealth ITU Group leading the representatives of the 54-Member Commonwealth Countries at the ITU, and also, the Chairman of Radiocommunications Advisory group of the ITU (the RAG). Gwandu has big shoes to fill because, co-incidentally, just like Gwandu, Dr Gracie was previously Chairman of the RAG, as well as, the Chairman of CIG. A well-known veteran in the sector Dr Gracie commands significant respect from delegates to the ITU in all the three Sectors, having been ITU Council Chair, TSAG Chair, WTDC Chair, Chairman of the Council Group on the Financial Regulations and Chairman of the Council Tripartite Group on Human Resources Management.
Gwandu was formally announced as the Chairman of CIG that is to take over from Dr Gracie, at a get-together, organized by the Commonwealth Telecom Organization in Geneva which was attended by many ITU member countries. The take-over was to come into effect immediately after the World Radiocommunications Conference (WRC-12) which was concluded on the 17th February 2012.
With 54 Member countries, the Commonwealth ITU Group can continue to exert significant influence in the telecom arena and within the ITU. It may be recalled that, only recently, the 54 Member African Countries of similar size led by Gwandu carried the day when they requested for 700MHz Frequency Spectrum Allocation at the WRC-12 to enable African Governments to create Jobs, improve Quality of services, and bridge the digital divide between the developing countries of Africa and the developed countries of Europe. Nigeria is now clearly building solid ground at the International ICT Arena and has growing potential to influence decision of international ICT institutions that affect all our daily lives.
We wish him the very best in this new assignment.