Thursday, August 11, 2005

NCC boss tasks stakeholders on corporate governance

EXECUTIVE Vice Chairman (EVC) of the Nigerian Communications Commission, Dr. Ernest Ndukwe, has outlined the importance of corporate governance in the telecom sector, tasking stakeholders to join forces to ensure that the battle to entrench this in the industry becomes meaningful.

Dr. Ndukwe was addressing audience at a one-day seminar with the theme ‘Telecommunications; Challenges of Corporate Governance’ held in Lagos Thursday.

The seminar was organized by a non-governmental organization made up of ICT stakeholders, known as the Joint Action Committee on Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Awareness and Development (JACITAD).

He said that in order to sustain the current gains of the telecommunications industry in the last four years, and even propel more benefits for all stakeholders.

“Operating companies in the communications industry should have good corporate governance and approach to business must be the goal,” he said.

This, he noted has become imperative so as to engender trust among and between companies operating in the market.

“It also makes the job of the regulatory agencies easier and enhances the confidence of the consumer,” the NCC boss said.

According to him, half measure delivers half returns and half trust delivers half prospects, therefore, he charging industry operatives, saying, “Only full dedication to international best practices in corporate governance will guarantee sustainable development of the telecommunications industry”.

The EVC who presided over the occasion attended by the likes of the President of the Nigeria Internet Group (NIG) and EVC, Teledom Group, Dr. Emmanuel Ekuwem, chieftain of the African Internet Service Providers Association (AfriSPA) and Managing Director, PiNet Nigeria, Mr. Lanre Ajayi, as well as the immediate past president of the Information Technology Industry Association of Nigeria (ITAN), Mr. Titi Omo-Ettu of The Executive Cyberschuul, among others, noted that the nation, has attracted global attention because of the tremendous growth that has occurred within the ICT industry in the last few years.

These, he said, include fully liberalized sector, an annual growth of over 100 per cent in subscriber base, innovative approach to regulation and policy as well as using global rather than Africa for benchmarking.

“This has resulted in the generation of close to 16 million lines, stable competition due multiple operators and choice of network.

Earlier in his welcome address, President of JACITAD, Mr. Biyi Fashoyin, has noted that in spite of the monumental gains of the sector, which is all-pervasive, poor corporate governance has caused most operators to become distressed and operationally comatose.

“Various issues like boardroom squabbles, unfavourable government policies, interconnect debts, bad power infrastructures and a lot of problems have been adduced as reasons for poor corporate governance in the polity,” he said.

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