Wednesday, September 17, 2008

NCC politics: Experts insist on due process

The on-going politicking at the nation’s telecommunications regulatory organ, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), has continued to attract reactions among experts, as they insisted that due process be followed in selecting replacement for the current Executive Vice Chairman (EVC), Dr. Ernest Ndukwe.

The latest came from the President of the Nigeria Internet Group (NIG) and a telecom engineer, Mr. Lanre Ajayi as well as the Coordinator of Telecommunications, School of Information Technology (IT) and Communications, American University of Nigeria, Yola, Adamawa State, Prof. Augustine Odinma.

ITRealms Online recalls that early this month the Nigerian media has been awash with plots to sack the current EVC while his appointment is yet to elapse until 2010. The key point of the proponents was that he turned 60 a fortnight ago.

Reacting in an exclusive chat with ITRealms Online, the aforementioned experts warned that as due process was followed in the appointment, there is absolute need for the replacement whenever necessary to take the same measure, rather than allowing mere political reasons to overwhelm the decision.

For Mr. Ajayi who is the chief executive of PiNet Informatics, he was sad and surprised to learn of the plot cautioning that those political jobbers should allow the current EVC, Dr. Ndukwe to concentrate by continuing on the good foundation he has laid till his tenure expires.

“I learnt about the plot with a surprise. I thought Nigerians should have appreciated the landmark contributions of the EVC and allow him to concentrate on his job in order to deliver a greater result,” he told ITRealms Online.

Mr. Ajayi also advised anybody interested in the position to exercise patient pending when he leaves office in two years time.

“Anybody that is interested in his job should at least wait till the expiration of his term,” he counseled.

For the coordinator of the telecom and wireless programmes at the American University, Yola, Prof. Odinma, it sounds very ridiculous for any right thinking person to imagine the removal of Ndukwe on the account of age.

“It is preposterous for any body to seek to remove Ndukwe on the account of age, unless they have any other reasons,” he said, adding that even if Ndukwe is 70 and in the judgment of his boss he is performing as expected, it would tantamount to stupidity to aspire to remove him based on age or tribal affiliation.

“We must learn from our past mistakes,” he cautioned.

Odinma, however, advised those aspiring to the position to tell the nation, the telephone consumers, how they intend to work with the operators to stop the cross-talk which is now the hall mark of the Global System for Mobile communications (GSM) networks.

“They should tell us how NCC can work with operators to eradicate the erroneous ‘No signal’ message when you are in a big city; ‘the customer is busy,’ when he is not; ‘Call Rejected,’ when it was actually not rejected.

In addition, he said they should tell the nation how they could interact with the operators to stop the ‘No Service’ syndrome which is now pervasive stressing that some days, there may not be service for two, three, or even seven hours or more.

“We need someone who can solve the problem and not somebody who knows the system or problem, but not how to solve the problem,” he highlighted.

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