By Emmanuel Elebeke
Following completion of a two-term tenure as Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) by Engr.
Ernest Ndukwe last week, stakeholders in the industry have said that whoever will take over from Ndukwe must be a proactive professional and a good resour
ce manager that can consolidate on the progress so farÂ made in the industry, as whoever assumes office as NCC’s Executive Vice Chairman will play a pivotal role in the continuous growth and development of Nigeria’s telecom industry, touted as the fastest-growing in Africa.
As a result, the stakeholders opined, it will amount to a disservice to the nation if a green horn who will rather than consolidate on the past gains will take the nationâ€™s telecom sector ten steps backwards is appointed.
They therefore, advised the presidency to be critical in appointing a competent and tested technocrat that knows the terrain to succeed Ndukwe. Industry stakeholders who spoke with CyberLIFE on the matter included National President of the Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), Dr. Emmanuel Ekuwem, President of Nigeria Internet Group, Engr. Lanre Ajayi, and Engr. Gbenga Adebayo, Chairman of Association of Licenced Telecommunication Organizations of Nigeria (ALTON).
Ekuwem in his own contribution said: â€œThere is no doubt that the past Executive Vice Chairman left a very big shoe, and whoever that must take over from him must be a thoroughbred professional like him, capable of steering the ship of the regulatory body for greater service delivery.”
He emphasised the importance of transparency, and aÂ free and fair selection process for the most competent person to emerge, saying that it is only by so doing that Nigeria can be sure of building on the achievement of the past administration and realise her dream of digital harvest in 2015 through massiveÂ broadband deployment across the country.
He further outlined some critical areas of interest which the incoming EVC must address to make the right impact. These he listed to include quality of service, implementation of Sim card registration, number portability, anti-competition and practices as well as multiple taxation.
It will be recalled that on completion of his statutory two term tenure on April 3, Engr. Ernest Ndukwe handed over to the most senior staff of the commission, Engr. Stephen Bello. Bello is to hold forte until a new EVC is appointed.
Speaking on the person specifications for a new EVC, President of the Nigeria Internet Group, Engr. Lanre Ajayi at a function organized in Lagos recently joinedÂ his voice in calling for a qualified professional to take over from Ndukwe. He said that the sustenance of the telecom revolution currently being witnessed in the country today requires a thorough and qualified professional to wear the big shoe Ndukwe lest behind.
Apart from being a core professional, the position of EVC ofÂ NCC needs to be granted full autonomy to enable the leadership sustain the gains of his predecessor.
He specifically cautioned against government personnel meddlingÂ in the affairs of the regulatory agency, saying that such act is capable of constituting a clog in the wheel of progress being made in the industry.
In the same vein, Engr. Gbenga Adebayo, Chairman of Association of Licenced Telecommunication Organizations of Nigeria (ALTON) said the achievement of NCC in the past ten years was too big to be ignored and that the nation cannot afford to have a non-professional take the nation backward. He urged the Federal Government to be focused and honest in appointing a quality and acceptable person ready to listen and work with the operators for greater productivity.
Meanwhile, the outgoing EVC, Engr. Ndukwe during his valedictory speech in Abuja charged other members of the commission to leverage on the past achievement of the commission to make more impact in the Nigeria telecom sector. He told them not to forget the operating companies because according to him, they made the revolutionÂ happen by installing the lines across the nook and crannies of the country, albeit with the right environment created by NCC. Ndukwe also emphasised the need for the agency to maintain high level of professionalism, integrity which the organization is known for.
In a related development, the Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON) has concluded plans to hold its Annual General Meeting (AGM) and National Executive Council (NEC) elections this month. These events are slated to hold at Golden Gate Chinese Restaurants, Ikoyi,Â Lagos.
OutgoingÂ ATCON president, Dr.Â Emmanuel Ekuwem in statement made available to CyberLIFEÂ reiterated his resolve at ensuring that a competent person and veteran who understands industry issues succeeds him.
He said ATCON, right from inception has been in the front burner advocating for the growth and development of the telecommunications sector in Nigeria and would continue to do so in the interest of the countryâ€™s fast growing ICT industry, adding ATCONÂ had put everything in place to ensure a free and fair election of national executive members that would steer the ship of the association for the next two years.
Ekuwem is the third president of the association since its inauguration in 1993. Since his assumption of office four year ago, the ATCON boss said he had built on the achievements of his predecessors based on the policy framework establishing it, which he said had helped them to lead ATCON to a higher level of growth and development.
Ekuwem who expressed satisfaction at the level of progress made at ATCON and dynamism brought into it said the election would offer other professionals in the industryÂ the opportunity to consolidate on past achievements and take the association and, indeed, the entire ICT industry to another level.
He charged the incoming leadership to make appreciable impact, particularly to ensure thatÂ the SIM card registration which is a major policy of the Nigerian Communication Commission is carried out.