Publish Your Post On Trend 9ja

NBC And NCC What Manner Of Template For The Buhari Regime? -By Okoh Aihe


The dissolution of the boards of government parastatals, agencies and companies the other day by the new government may have sent so many messages. But two of them I can relate to immediately. One, that the government is trying to create opportunities for a new set of people to dine on the table. Two, and which is more ennobling, is that this government is serious enough to wear a bold face and clean the Augean stables of all its filthiness and shame.

I am at an intersection here that is not too enviable, trapped between the two extreme ends. I am old enough to know that no matter the drive of the new administration, there must be some hardened hearts who will dig in to eat and chop. After all, the previous government came with the mantra of anti corruption but left the country in total bewilderment, as many can testify today that corruption has never been this blatant in the land or so devastating on the people, with so many plunged into multidimensional poverty, as a new set of people exhibit the odious manifestations of new arriviste.

NCC - Telecommunication Networks In Nigeria

However, I stay more with the fact that the Augean stables need serious cleaning for the rebuilding process of the nation to begin. And so many people do agree with me on this. Because, discussing this matter of cleansing the other day, an old friend of mine simply directed my attention to one of the most important ministries in this nation. Go there and carry out a little conversation with the workers and you will begin to see the depth of rot the previous government plunged the nation into in just eight years.

It is eye-catching that the new administration has decided to start from the superficialities, the low hanging fruits in the system; in the main, the boards of parastatals and agencies peopled by politicians, most of whom are so unprincipled that in whatever capacity they find accommodation, they serve as virus to destroy the system. Without mincing words they destroyed the system under the Buhari administration.

Without any sampling done yet, this writer can state here, based on the information at his disposal from two organisations, the National Broadcasting Organisation (NBC) and the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), that membership of the boards under the previous administration were so badly constituted and so badly run, that a careful appraisal needs to be carried so that the nation does not go that opprobrious route again.

Ironically, these agencies did have great boards in the past which set them on the path to greatness. Under Dr Tom Adaba, pioneer Director General of the National Broadcasting Commission, Mr Peter Enahoro, who just passed recently, as board chairman, provided great leadership that helped establish a sure foundation for the broadcast regulator and the industry.

With Ernest Ndukwe as the Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the late Ahmed Joda, who headed the board of the Commission, provided the needed leadership by a fledgling organisation to gain traction. Both the NBC and the NCC were so firmly established that no matter the sustained assault on their roots, they have refused to succumb to the greed of politicians. Unfortunately, their resistance is failing.

The difference between the past and the present is that the laws were allowed to operate in the past while the politicians of today stamped on power with absolute ferocity. Look at the irony. The soldiers allowed Decree 38 of 1992, now the National Broadcasting Commission Act CAP N11 2004, to work even in the appointment of the board, while the civilian administration of 1999 allowed the Nigerian Communications Act to work, which Act was indeed reviewed in 2003. Both laws are very clear on who to appoint to the board. Unfortunately, the laws made no sense to the Buhari variant of politicians. Board members were appointed arbitrarily and without recourse to the laws and the consequential effects will last us adversely for a very long time.

Sample this. A source told this writer that in one of those moments, former Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, engaged in what would seem an exhilarating moment of valedictory peroration when he told the story of how he cobbled together the board of the NBC. Perhaps enjoying a flash of roguish satisfaction, Mohammed told his captive audience of the NBC how he appointed the members. Bashir Omolaja Bolarinwa, the board chairman, was the factional leader of his party, APC, in Kwara State. Some other members were from the same Kwara State, while one member was his classmate at the Law School, which, according to him, they attended in old age. A particular member was abroad, attending meetings virtually.

Yet everything was done in the name of the President. That was the headline in the newspapers: Buhari appoints Bolarinwa as new chairman of the NBC board. You may need to look at the Act under Composition of the Commission and what the Act says in Section 3(2).

With the board headed by a proxy, anything could go wrong, and they did go wrong – finances, administration, employment and just anything you could think about. Regulatory independence was lost completely. At some point, the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission ( ICPC) had to move in to stop the financial muddling and drain at the NBC.

At the Nigerian Communications Commission, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami, sacked a respected board chairman, Senator Olabiyi Durojaiye of blessed memory, in order to pave way for his minnows and lackeys. The minister moved former board chairman of NITDA, Prof Adeolu Akande, to the NCC as the chairman of the board, and also appointed all kinds of people that couldn’t look him in the face, in order to have full control of the Commission. He then got on the driving seat and drove the Commission the way he liked with the conniving acquiescence of some characters in the Presidential Villa. The strong organisation the administration met was bedraggled with unrestrained power exhibition and plain villainy and pillaging. This is totally at variance with Section 5 of the Communications Act 2003.

It is no coincidence that the same template was implemented at the two agencies that were once powerful. Is this what happened in the other agencies, parastatals and government companies under the Buhari administration? Could the ministers have been governments unto themselves, doing things without restraint and recourse to higher authorities? So, what happens next, sweep the malfeasance under the carpet and pretend nothing happened?

If the new government must hear, let the officials know that there is no joy yet in some of the parastatals and government agencies. They are aware that some of these highly placed officials who did them in are trying to make their way back, and are praying fervently that the government must act urgently to protect them and punish those who, through their villainy, imposed smallness and impotence on the agencies.

Dokpesi: Epilogue

The journey starts here, At this juncture, Where the good is not interred/ The journey starts here, In the memory of his presence, Where he told a devoted protege, The other day, During a visitation/ “From this moment, you People will talk, And I will listen.”/The journey starts here, From this moment, Raypower and AIT will talk. The world will Hear them/ And Dr Raymond Aleogho Dokpesi will listen, knowing the journey starts here/ The journey starts here, The end is only the beginning, For Raymond Aleogho Dokpesi.


Post a Comment


What do you want to ask or share?

Post a Comment (0)

#buttons=(Accept !) #days=(20)

Our website uses cookies to enhance your experience. Check Now
Accept !