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Federal Character: Buhari’s nomination into NCC board causes stir in Senate

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The confirmation of Mr Adeleke Adewolu, nominated by President Muhammadu Buhari, as Executive Commissioner of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) caused a stir in the Senate on Wednesday.

TheNewsGuru (TNG) reports Sen. Oluremi Tinubu (APC-Lagos) as Chairman of the Senate Committee on Communications presented Adeleke for confirmation.

Sen. Tinubu explained that the South West nominee’s antecedents and competency had been scrutinised and found worthy to serve as NCC executive commissioner.

“That the Senate do consider the request of Mr President on the confirmation of appointment of Adeleke Adewolu as Executive Commissioner of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) in accordance with section 8 (1) of the Nigerian Communications unit, 2003,’’ she said.

Following the satisfactory report of the Senate Committee on Communications, Adeleke was confirmed, replacing the former NCC commissioner representing South West, Mr Sunday Dare on the NCC board.

Dare had been inaugurated as Minister of Sports by President Muhammadu Buhari, hence, the vacuum he left would be filled by the incoming commissioner on the governing board of the NCC.

However, Sen. Uche Ekwunife (PDP-Anambra) raised a concern noting that the South-East did not have a commissioner nominee on the NCC board, adding that it was against the Federal Character principle.

“Mr President, distinguished colleagues, Section (8)1 stated that all the six geopolitical zones of Nigeria should have members serving on the board.

“As I speak sir, South West – 2, North West – 2, South-South – 1, North East – 1, North Central – 2, South West 2, South East is completely out and I hereby seek the leave of my colleagues for you to intervene in this matter. This is an opportunity to correct this anomaly,” Sen. Ekwunife asserted.

In a similar vein, Senators Rochas Okorocha (Imo-APC) and Francis Onyewuchi Ezenwa (Imo-PDP) called on the Senate to ensure equitable representation in government boards based on Federal Character Principle.

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Ezenwa, who on his part insisted that the South West nominee be stepped down, was overruled by the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan.

Lawan urged the committee to investigate the matter on the alleged non inclusion of South East and report to plenary on October 15.

He said the Senate would ensure upholding the laws of the nation at all times.

“Chairman, Federal Character Committee should investigate this and do something to reflect the presence of the south east as the law provides for,” Lawan said.

He also said the NCC had not done well in the discharge of its responsibility to the nation.

“I must confess that the NCC has not been doing well, we still have so many unregistered sim cards, some of the Telecommunication Companies still do not pay the necessary taxes. Nigerians still do not enjoy quality services from the Telecommunication Companies,” he said.

Earlier, the senate also received the ad hoc Committee Report on Pipeline explosions.

It also considered the first reading for seven bills.

The bills are Federal Polytechnic Daura Amendment Act Bill 2019, sponsored by Sen. Ahmad Kaita (APC-Katsina); Modibo Adama University of Technology Establishment Bill 2019, sponsored by Sen. Aisha Ahmed(APC-Adamawa), and National Rice Development Council Bill 2019, sponsored by Sen. Bima Enagi (APC-Niger).

Others are National Health Insurance Scheme Bill 2019, sponsored by Sen Oloriegbe Ibrahim(APC-Kwara) and Sexual Harassment Bill, 2019 sponsored by Sen. Ovie Omo-Agege.(APC-Delta).

The rest are National Institute for Business Studies Nnewi Establishment Bill 2019, sponsored by Sen. Ifeanyi Ubah(YPP-Anambra) and Federal College of Education,Monguno, Borno Establishment Bill 2019, sponsored by Sen Kyari Shaib (APC-Borno).

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