The setting was exquisite; the date was auspicious. December 14, 2018, inside the ornate and well-made up hall at Dabras Hotel, Abuja, the Nigerian Communications Commission rolled out the drums, twanged the guitar and blew the trumpet to celebrate some of its exceptional employees, long-serving members of staff and recent retirees at a sumptuous and entertaining dinner night. 

The event perfectly fitted into the festive season complete with all the dazzling colours and grandeur that usually mark the year-end. Employees of the commission and their families did not disappoint as they turned out daintily dressed. It was an evening to remember not just for its celebratory symbolism but also for providing an all hair down moment for staff and families to network, banter and exchange warm felicitations.

It was also time for selfies. Yes, NCC staff are digital natives and they made the most of the night with group pictures and selfies which quickly found their way into the social media space.

Everyone beamed with smiles and exuded positive vibes highlighting a busy year that is finally getting to its last days with records of success.

The Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of NCC, Professor Umar Garba Danbatta, a man of pure class, charm and candour, had revealed the previous day that Nigeria had surpassed its broadband penetration target of 30% for the year, having reached 30.9% by November 2018.

It was the kind of news that staff wanted at that time. After a whole year of hard work, long hours and dedication to duty, it was soothing to hear that employees’ hard work had produced a good result, even exceeding target.

Professor Danbatta was present at the event along with most of the management staff of the commission and their families as well as employees who had recently retired, such as NCC’s former Director of Public Affairs, Tony Ojobo, former Director of Technical Standards, Engineer Fidelis Onah and former Head of Human Capital, Matthew Maganda.

Awards were presented to persons who had been staff for periods of five years, ten, fifteen, twenty and twenty-five years respectively. The highpoint of the award ceremony was the announcement of awards for best staff in each of the twenty-six departments of the commission. This attracted loud cheers from the awardees’ families and colleagues, as they filed out ecstatically to collect their award plaques and shake hands with the EVC/CEO and other management staff.

It was also a night of rare culinary teasing. Assorted continental delicacies, dishes and desert as well as plenty drinks were available in good measure. Good music to serenade the moment wafted through the juke box.

The fun hit the roof and people leapt over the moon in dancing when foremost Nigerian musical artiste and multiple award winner, David ‘Davido’ Adeleke, took to the stage. Being a surprise guest at the event, everyone in the hall rose from their seats, singing and dancing along as he performed some of his hit tracks.