Atinuke Tokura Nukay/TnTv Network
Barring any last-minute delay, the Nigerian Senate is set to confirm the new Presidential nominees into the Governing Board of the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC).
Prof. Adeolu Akande was nominated by President Muhamamdu Buhari as new Chairman, Governing Board of Commissioners while Mr Uche Uwunde Callitus was nominated as a Board member or the Commission.
TnTv learnt that, in line with the provision of the Nigerian Communications Act (NCA), 2003, the Senate on Tuesday successfully screened the two candidates.
Following the successful screening, the Senate has expressed satisfaction at the competence of the two Presidential nominees to strengthen the Board of the Commission and is set to announce the confirmation of the two nominees as substantive Board members of the NCC.
During the Senate screening witnessed by TnTV team, Akande and Callistus displayed exceptional understanding and knowledge of the telecoms and the entire Information and Communication Technology (ICT) industry .
Responding to questions during the screening, Akande assured of his readiness to work with Management of NCC by providing the right leadership and direction that put the industry on consistent path of grow with respect to digital economy.
For instance, Akande told the Senate screening committee that he would work with the Board and Management of the Commission towards ensuring to the case of using mobile phones to perpetrate crimes is fully addressed.
Prof. Akande emphasised his plan, if confirmed as NCC Board chairman, to dealing with wrongful registration of subscribers owing to the fact that people register Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) cards not with their true identity.
“However, when such SIM cards are used for criminality and they are tracked, we often have a case where such is traced to the subscriber, who registered rather than the authentic perpetrators of crimes,” he said.
While stating that there was no doubt that the use of communication as a tool for criminality had been on the rise in the country, Akande reassured the Committee of his plan to work with his team at NCC to nip the menace in the bud with the use of ICT.
“On the confirmation of my nomination by the Senate, I will contribute my quota to the development of the communications sector and the development of Nigeria at large.
“All over the world, emphasis is being placed on the use of telecommunications as a tool for curbing crime but unfortunately in Nigeria, we are seeing the opposite, to some extent, where communication has become the major tool of criminality.”
Akande further told the attentive Senators during the screening exercise that “the major problem why kidnappers, armed robbers, bandits use communication facility is that we have problem with using communication to track the identity of Nigerians and residents of Nigeria.”
Akande also said that “we have enough regulations; and what this says is that NCC has a lot of work to do with regulation and enforcement.”
“Currently, NCC could be doing a lot but the truth of the matter is that the Commission needs to do more because it occupies a very strategic position in the enforcement of security in the country.”
He, however, said that recently, the NCC and the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy had tried to rectify the problem with over two million improperly-registered SIN lines.
The nominee also called for the need for closer collaboration between the Commission and security agencies.
Similarly in one of his responses, Callitus, said that he was ready to work with young and energetic persons in NCC to impact and share digital knowledge and use same for national development.
Callistus said that there was the need to regularise the operations between NCC, Nigerian Police and Department of State Services (DSS) with a view to fashioning out how best to track and apprehend criminals including kidnappers through the use of ICT as a tool to prevent crimes.
Chairman of the Committee, Sen. Oluremi Tinubu, said that the nomination for confirmation of the nominees into the Governing Board of the NCC is in consonance with the provisions of Section 8 (1) of the NCA, 2003.
She said that it was the Committee’s hope that the nomination was confirmed, saying from all indications, their tenure would witness the growth and progress of Nigeria’s telecommunications industry.