Pantami And Ministerial Arrogancy By Emmanuel John

The uncouth behaviour of Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, during the commissioning of the NCC complex in Mbora, in the presence of the President is unfortunate to say the least. This could only happen in Nigeria where Muhammadu Buhari is the President. In saner climes, the minister could have resigned for disrespecting the office of the President or fired.

The Executive Vice Chairman, Prof Garba Danbatta, is not a good story for the commission, but for the commission’s reputation, the minister could have responded with protocol and decorum. The EVC’s Speech was about the complex and how it came into being.  The minister, who had earlier evidently lied to the President that it was him who built the gigantic project could not allow the EVC to tell the President the truth.

The buildings was constructed by NCC as DBI Campus by Ernest Ndukwe during Olusegun Obasanjo’s era and was completed by Eugene Juwah during Goodluck Jonathan’s era. It was not put to use all these years because the commission did not expand the DBI to be degree earning institution as expected. The minister, who lied to the President will allow Prof Danbatta to set the record straight. He could not swallow the truth to protect his lies to the President, and he shamelessly and against protocol snatched the microphone.

If the minister was intelligent enough, he would have allowed the EVC to name the heroes behind the building project, but for his selfishness, corruption and ego, he thwarted the EVC’s address.

Only fools snatched glories and feels they can successfully reaped where they did not sow. If he is intelligent he could have at least allowed the President to appreciate the efforts of the previous administrations of the NCC but for his selfish interest and tendency to cheat caused the shameful snatching of the microphone from the EVC in the presence of the President.

Prof Danbatta is not a wonderful chief executive officer of the NCC, he is the worst of the EVC’s ever, very greedy, corrupt and intellectually empty with no administrative capacity.

NCC, which was a pride to the nations before Danbatta has worsened, with no credibility in employment, promotions and awards of contracts. In fact, he has rendered the independence of the commission useless by surrendering it to the uncouth minister.

It is no more secret that the minister has yanked out Universal Service Provision from NCC and made the head, USPF Chief Executive Officer against the Act. This action was allowed by the EVC to massage the ego of the arrogant minister for his second term bid. Even if the commission is going to go down, Danbatta wouldn’t mind if he can secure second tenure.

The rejoinder sent out by the office of the minister disclaiming Mbora complex incidence was an afterthought and attempt to hide the intense animosity between him and the EVC caused by their enormous corrupt attitude and high tech competition to absolutely control the funds of the commission.

That was why the minister has been lying on SIM card registration, which he claims he has successfully tackled. The issue of the unregistered SIM is still a great concern to the commission and the security agencies. Unregistered SIM is been sold in uncontrolled environment all over Nigeria contrary to the claims of the minister.

Imagine, the minister has directed the EVC to release the sum of N1bn to NITDA for its digital learning scheme. Out of that amount, N300m has been released. The one million dollar question is this: Why Would NCC Fund be given to NITDA to execute its project. The answer is obvious. The fund is going to NITDA were the minister’s boy is the head and the money could be easily stolen.

In addition to this mega stealing design, the minister is collecting estacodes and allowances from all parastatals under his ministry.  The assertion the minister made in response to the incident that happened during the NCC Mbora Complex commissioning that he can’t be distracted with corrupt people is to pre-empt the general perception of the public that he is corrupt and he is undermining NCC threatening its board and management to further syndicate the corruption that is going on under him.

The Minister of Communications and EVC of NCC if allowed to continue as front line managers of telecommunications, will ruin the industry and eliminate the achievement so far recorded. The minister is a compulsive and arrogant liar. To save telecoms industry in Nigeria, the minister and the EVC must go.

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