Tinubu removes NCC boss, Danbatta appoints Aminu Maida

Aminu Maida

President Bola Tinubu has removed the Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof Umar Danbatta in a sweeping change that affected the Postmaster General of the Nigeria Postal Service (NIPOST) and the CEO of Nigeria Communication Satellite Limited (NigComSat).

According to the new appoints announced by the Special Adviser to the President (Media & Publicity), Ajuri Ngelale, Danbatta was replaced by Aminu Maida as the EVC/CEO of the NCC, while Nkechi Egerton-Idehen was named as the MD/CEO of NIGCOCOMSAT to take over the reign from Tukur Mohammed Lawal Funtua.

At NIPOST, Tola Odeyemi was named as the Postmaster General / CEO, to replace Sunday Adepoju. The Presidency said the new appointments take immediate effect.

While the latest leadership changes were implemented across multiple agencies under the Federal Ministry of Communications, Innovation, and Digital Economy, the DG / CEO of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, and the National Commissioner / CEO, Nigeria Data Protection Commission (NDPC), Dr. Vincent Olatunji, retained their positions.

Meanwhile, President Tinubu has also announced the appointment of Idris Alubankudi as Special Adviser to the President on Technology and Digital Economy. According to the Presidency’s statement, this appointment was in line with the President’s determination to maximally leverage Nigeria's proven technological and digital economic prowess to reposition the nation's economy toward greater financial inclusion.

The removal of the EVC of the NCC may have come as a surprise to many stakeholders in the telecom industry, given that he was reappointed in 2020 for a second tenure of 5 years. However, the President has the power to hire and fire executives of parastatals at any time.

Danbtatta was appointed by former President Buhari in August 2015 to serve a five-year tenure which elapsed in 2020. He was reappointed by Buhari and was confirmed by the Senate in July the same year for another five-year tenure, which would have lapsed in 2025.

However, Danbatta’s case was better compared with that of the removed Postmaster General of NIPOST and the CEO of NIGCOMSAT. Sunday Adepoju was appointed by President Buhari in October 2022 and has barely spent 1 year in office as the Postmaster General, while Engineer Tukur Mohammed Lawal Funtua of NIGCOMSAT was appointed in December 2022.

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