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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Probe salaries of Nigerian mega-CEOs – ATCON

President, Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), Dr. Emmanuel Ekuwem has raised an alarm over what he called unrealistic salaries of some of the chief executives of multinational corporations operating in Nigeria as well as those of mega-banking institutions in the country.

He made the call while speaking as the special guest of honour at the one-day annual lecture of Titans of Tech 2009 held at the Musical Society of Nigeria (MUSON) Centre, Onikan-Lagos, recently, saying that if this is not checked, Nigeria may be tilting towards another level of meltdown other than what is being seen presently.

According to him, most of these chief executives, especially those in the mega-banking institutions are in out of reach affluence, which may have a long time effect.

He also said that the current ravaging global economic meltdown has negatively affected the industry, even though some school of thought may argue that Nigeria was already down before the meltdown was pronounced, yet evidence has shown that the nation’s kind of meltdown may be an accumulated one due to some factors.

These, he listed to include the daily depreciating and weakening value of Naira against the United States dollar as well as the nation’s import dependent economy.

He, further called for a probe of mega-banks salaries, so as to avert the kind of credit affluence experienced in developed countries where credit system was abused, so as to collate the relevant data that could help the system in positioning the national economy.

Dr. Ekuwem who also is the executive vice chairman, Teledom Group, said that the effect of meltdown on the industry has been more because Nigerian currency was weak against the dollar, assumed to be the international exchange trading currency.

According to him, 99 per cent of facilities in the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector, for instance, are imported into the country, which does not augur well for the country.

“It means that our ICT industry is import dependent,” he said.

Therefore, he said, that Nigeria’s ICT industry is negatively affected by the global meltdown.

Export, he pointed, would improve the value of Naira, just like importation no matter how little at this time of recession, would continue to weaken the Naira.

He advised the government to focus more attention on how to improve the few science parks in the country and increase this quota.

This, he said, would help us to produce the likes of Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT), some antennas, local casing of some of the ICT tools which could be used for mobile phone covers or even computer covers.

He added his voice to condemn the non-patronage of local products, saying that the current patronage is insufficient to sustain local assembly plants.

“When we patronize locally produced goods, the profit stays here, especially when you give local companies contracts,” he said.

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