" ITREALMS: Banjo v. Omo-Ettu: Battle for ATCON leadership gears up

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Banjo v. Omo-Ettu: Battle for ATCON leadership gears up

WITH less than 48 hours to the election of the new National Executive Council (NEC) of the Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), the heat has narrowed down to some specifics on who are the contending forces to battle each other in order to emerge in the new leadership of the association.

ATCON is a professional, non-profit umbrella organisation of all telecommunication companies in Nigeria, which was inaugurated on December 10, 1993, as a national trade organisation, with its membership drawn from Nigerian and multi-national companies which provide telecommunications and information technology products and services in the country.

ITRealms Online gathered that there are about nine contenders in various positions including the National President where Messrs Titi Omo-Ettu and Bayo Banjo would be locking horns come Friday, April 30 this year at the Golden Gate venue of the Annual General Meeting (AGM) cum general election.

Also, Olusola Teniola of Kinten Telecom has declared interest on the first vice national president position, Adewale Jones of Ashfield & Bowman Attorney, David Roberts of Cebit Park Ltd is reportedly eyeing the post of the National Secretary, Intercellular representative at ATCON, Ms Maureen Egbuna seems to be a lone ranger for the National Publicity Secretary, while Tony Nwosu has expressed interest in going for the Co-coordinator, Auxiliary Service Providers, even as Mac Danielles Ighedosa of Diyeem Global Concept, Enhanced Services and Akinlabi Akinbo from AAA Infotek are expected to muscle up for Coordinator, Consulting Group.

Normally, the key battle is between those hussling for the national president seat, that is, Messrs Titi Omo-Ettu and Bayo Banjo. Uniquely, both are known advocates as far as this industry and ATCON issues are concerned.

For most industry watchers, both contenders are going to exhibit keen contest given their backgrounds before now.

For Bayo Banjo, who has been the first vice president under the incumbent NEC led by Dr. Emmanuel Ekuwem of Teledom Group International, he has been an outspoken person ever before and has served well in his current capacity in the last four years, which is cumulatively the two- year term of Dr. Ekuwem and could be said to have grown through the ranks for his turn and represented Ekuwem and ATCON very well in the last few years of active participation in the NEC.

Though Banjo on one hand is known overtly for his style of elucidating controversies anytime, anyday in the bid to air his mind without any encumbrance, he is the founder of Disc Communications Limited (DisCom), a leading telecommunications company that is in forefront of revolutionizing the industry in Nigeria with several years of experience.

DisCom under his leadership, has proved to be seen as delivering quality telecom services via land lines, optimizing the advantage of the larger bandwidth that cable has over wireless counterpart in addition to encouraging optimization of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology.

Equally, Mr. Banjo is not contesting with unknown figure in the industry in the person of Mr. Titi Omo-Ettu, a consultant telecommunications engineer who is the Managing Partner, Telecom Answers Associates (TAA) and founder The Executive Cyberschuul and was actually the chairman, electoral committee that brought in the Ekuwem-Banjo ticket four years ago and has served in various committees under the current dispensation in ATCON.

Currently, Omo-Ettu who is also referred to industry-wise as ‘IT Parable’ is the National Vice president, Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN), since last year.

Omo-Ettu has over three decades of active participation in the Nigerian telecommunications development having retired from the services of Nigerian Telecommunications Plc (NITEL) in 1991 and presently consulting and training younger engineers with focus on developmental processes.

He has consulted for the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) since its inception in 1993 to date, serving in the areas of industry studies and research, universal service plans and internet applications just as he extends similar services to the private sector clients.

His Lagos-based Cyberschuul specialises on telecommunications training, whereas he is a fellow of several professional entities including the Nigeria Society of Engineers (NSE), Telecom Executive Management Institute, Canada; memberships of Association of Consulting Engineers, Nigeria; and Nigerian Institute of Management (NIM) among others.

His expertise also extends to telecommunications switching; digital technology; tele-traffic engineering; network planning and management; network economics; managing people & resources; marketing strategy and management; virtual private networks; e-learning management platforms; Voice over IP (VoIP).

As the time draw nearer, the ATCON annual general meeting cum election, may this year be very intense and as such goes a long way in dividing the membership of ATCON along thin margins like was witnessed four years ago when Ekuwem and chairman, Linkserve Group, Chief Chima Onyekwere sweated it out with a margin of a single vote to emerge.

Confirming the readiness of ATCON for the election, Executive Secretary, Mr. Ajibola Olude, said that they are looking forward to welcoming both old and new members at the AGM.

He explained that the chairman of the electoral committee would be appointed on that day, maintaining that ATCON strongly believes that for Nigerian telecommunications market to remain vibrant and relevant, the association should keep on advocating for some fundamentals like good quality service and zero tolerance on multiple taxation to name a few.

Hence, the election of the national executive council has become imperative to underscore ATCON’s needs for credible, pro-active, intelligent and good resource managers to steer its leadership in the next two years to the next level.

Therefore, he enjoined members to turn out enmass for the AGM and NEC election.

As at the time of going to press, ITRealms Online learnt that already, scheming has been going on in order to woe members of ATCON, especially the contenders in other portfolio, who are expected to fall in line within the two presidential aspirants of the association, which could be a boost for whoever would emerges as president eventually.

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