Monday, July 26, 2010

Senate may endorse Juwa as NCC boss

Expectations are high that the Red chamber of the National Assembly, the Senate, may this week conclude the search for the chief executive of the telecommunications organ of the Federal Government, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) by endorsing the nominee sent to them last week.

Noteworthy is that last week, reports have it that the Federal Government nominated Dr. Ikemefuna Juwa, which was read at the floor of the house on Thursday, July 22, this year.

Among the already contending names for the post of the Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, notable to the industry stakeholders is Mr. Eugene Juwa, who was until recently the Senior Vice President at the moribund MTS FirstWireless.

ITRealms Online recalls that since April 1 when the former EVC and chief executive of NCC, Dr. Ernest Ndukwe’ bowed out after completion of his two-term of five years each, he was directed to handover to the next most senior person in the Commission, Mr. Stephen Bello, who has since been retired in acting capacity and was subsequently asked to handover to another Executive Commissioner, Dr. Bashir Gwandu, as at June 21.

Though this elucidated some controversies in the industry given that an acting officer was made to replace another in the same capacity, but NCC was firm in denying any atom of controversy in the Commission.

Equally of note is that before leaving office, Ndukwe’s board at NCC presided over by Alhaji Ahmed Joda had recommended three names to the presidency, in what seemed like the last board meeting, about a month before his handover, which included Juwa, Kano-based professor, Umar Garba Danbatta, of DBI, and a commissioner at NCC.

With reading of the nomination at the Senate, last week, all seem set for Juwa’s confirmation this week.

However, reacting to the news of the nomination, the chairman, Association Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), Mr. Gbenga Adebayo, said that they wish him well, but was quick to add that the Ndukwe’s shoe is very big and he should strive to surpass it, by eschewing the politicization of operations being engineered by some political jobbers, whom he alleged what to destabilize the industry.

In his response, the president of the Association of Telecommunication Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), Mr. Titi Omo-Ettu, said that the Juwa he know is capable of delivering, describing the nomination as a round peg in a round hole.

‘Yes, if Ikemefuna Juwa is the Eugene Juwa that I know, he is a fitting and very ready material for the job. Intellectually and in industry equipment, he is round. If the time it has taken to find the candidate was meant to get one of the fine guys around,” he declared.

Omo-Ettu also said that if the delay in appointing Ndukwe’s successor to have an expert acceptable to the industry on the seat, then the delay is forgiven.

“I think we can forgive the uneasy delay that has come to a good end. This is the kind of candidate Nigerians say is ‘a round peg in a round hole,’” he said.

Also commenting, the immediate past-president of ATCON, Dr. Emmanuel Ekuwem, said that Mr. President definitely worked with the recommendation of NCC

As at press time, ITRealms Online was unable to ascertain whether the nominee Ikemefuna Juwa was the same Eugene Juwa.

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