Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Stakeholders eulogise Ndukwe @ A Walk in Tandem

It was eulogy symposium for the Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Dr. Ernest Ndukwe, last Saturday during a book launch on him in Lagos.

The book titled “Ndukwe & Telecom Regulation: A Walk In Tandem,” attempts to chronicle the EVC’s notable works and achievements in the telecommunications sector, spanning over 25 years.

Written by Aaron Ukodie, Deputy Business Editor and head of IT.Telecom Desk of Daily Independent, the book launch attracted commendations from industry players and eulogies for the EVC.

Leading the pack was the special guest at the occasion, Secretary General of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), Dr. Hamadoun Toure who stood in for the friends of Ndukwe in diaspora.

“I am here to celebrate one of our international friends and I am representing the international community,” Dr. Toure said, adding that he is very comfortable talking about Dr. Ndukwe just as he did not leave out the former Minister of Communications and commissioner at NCC, Chief Olawale Ige, who he described as his role model.

Dr. Toure also commended the work done so far by Ndukwe and his team at the NCC, noting that for the Information and Communication Technology sector of the international community, “Ernest is one of the most vibrant regulator. I am pleased to have Ernest as a friend over the years.

Stressing that it is about time Africa had leaders like Dr. Ndukwe, pointing out that good leadership has to be commended and that is why he is excited to be home in Nigeria.

He, therefore, committed himself to support Dr. Ndukwe at NCC, cautioning that it has become a kind of trademark on the continent to remove a performing and distinguished leader in a chosen aspect of the economy, even as he enjoined the government of Yar’Adua to continue to support the leadership at NCC.

“When we have great leaders and have great people following them that means we have a great future in Africa,” he asserted.

Dr. Toure equally commended Mr. Ukodie for taking the time off his usual schedule as a journalist to write a book on Dr. Ndukwe.

Reviewer of the book, Monsignor Rev. Matthew Hassan Kukah represented by Mr. Mike Magaji also eulogised Ndukwe and the author, noting that Nigerians should not forget in a hurry what it was like before the boom in telecommunications ignited by the transparent auctioning of the Digital Mobile Licenses.

“It is a beautiful work that could be read in two hours and made up of 11 chapters,” he said.

Nigeria, he said, has benefited from Ndukwe’s dynamism embedded in GSM, adding that it has changed lives and could still be improved upon, especially in the areas of tariff reduction and service quality.

He suggested that the book be made available in compact disc (CD) version and electronic book (e-book) format for people outside the shores of Nigeria to easily access the work.

Minister of state for Information and Communication, Alhaji Ibrahim Nakande, said the book is about a legend in his own time and the efforts he has made for humanity, adding that Ndukwe’s tenure brought stability into the sector.

He also pledged on behalf of the government to continue to support Ndukwe by looking at existing policies and making same better.

Corp Marshal of the Federal Road Safety Commission, Mr. Osita Chidoka who was represented by the Lagos zonal commander, Mr. Chike Nwaka, said his commission has benefited from the impact of ICT revolution in the country and bought five copies for N50,000.

President, Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON) Dr. Emmanuel Ekuwem, said that the group would recommend a copy each for its over 160-member companies, just as Teledom Group International would donate a copy each to every university with Ile-Ife having three copies.

Equally commending Dr. Ndukwe’s contribution to the growth of ICT in the country, President, Nigeria Internet Group (NIG), Mr. Lanre Ajayi, said his group would buy a copy for every of its members students to spur them.

The Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) said it would buy 10 copies for N100,000, according to its chairman, Mr. Gbenga Adebayo, who also gave kudos to the author for the idea.

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