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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

ATCON honours Haffner, first NITEL’s CEO with discourse


The Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON) has honoured the first chief executive officer of the Nigerian Telecommunications Limited (NITEL), Victor Adetunji Haffner, with a breakfast discourse on his 92th birthday.
 
Speaking at the weekend in Lagos at the session, ATCON president, Mr. Titi Omo-Ettu congratulated Haffner for turning 92 while appreciating God.

“We celebrate and thank Almighty God for his life and achievements which forever remains a cornerstone of our industry and its development,” he declared.

Omo-Ettu accepted responsibility on behalf of all my peers if the guest of honour, Pa Haffner, feels a tinge of disappointment about his generation, given the haphazard nature of handling the affairs of this country; its economy and well-being.  

According to him, Haffner as a reputed engineer participated in the launch of the first experimental rocket into space fired from The Marina in Lagos in 1963 and who in 2011 was being told that launching of NigeriaSat2 and NigeriaSatX is novel and from Russia.

He pointed out that though there is no harm in launching a space rocket from anywhere, after all, the United States chose the Lagos Marina in 1963 purely for technical, geographical and commercial reasons of proximity to the equator.

The launching point, he said, is important considering the availability of communication facility at the nearby headquarters of the Nigerian External Telecommunications Limited, which had just then been renamed from Cable & Wireless.

“… And which it pleased God Almighty to make Engr. Victor Haffner its first Chief Executive,” Omo-Ettu noted.

Pointing out that the significant difference is that while there was no large Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) whose President was to witness the 1963 launch, there was one to witness the 2011 launch in Russia.

However, he said that the establishment of that famous institution is one of the lasting legacies of Engr. Victor Haffner and his compatriots.

“Pa Haffner and his compatriots also went ahead to canvass for the establishment of Council of Registered Engineers (COREN), which he meritoriously served as first President in 1972,” he said.

This moment, Omo-Ettu pointed out, coincided with a new dawn, as the Federal Government recently approved the long-time clamour that hitherto incongruent industries of telecommunications, broadcasting and computing be restructured into a desirable unified entity for ease of management of information technology resources, through the creation of Ministry of Communications Technology (MCT) otherwise refers to ICT Ministry.

“This unification has been a long journey, unfinished and unclear even at take off, but we have taken the first steps and promise to keep going,” he said.

ATCON and likes of COREN, he also promised would continue to be at the forefront of the struggle to make the case that the Federal Government takes the nation out of darkness by pushing for true liberalization in the energy sector - an experiment which under Pa Haffner leadership was pushed for back in 1990s for telecommunications and which has proved to be an inspired move and remains inspirational.

The discourse, he said, availed selected participants the opportunity to dine with Pa Haffner and also to listen to the guest speaker; a distinguished and senior colleague of counterparts in the accounting profession.

Remmy Nweke
ITREALMS Online ... delivering news for ICT4D

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