Maida’s Midas Touch at NCC

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By Mary Odoma

Over the years, I have learned that making life progress depends on several factors. One of them is purpose. Without it, you might be mediocre—a common attribute in Nigeria. I took the time to research why leadership seems a mirage in the country with the avalanche of information that emanates in the public space on how some public officials have conducted themselves. Some have done well, and some have done poorly. 

One who has done well is the Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Dr Aminu Maida, a well-rounded information systems engineer who bagged a PhD in Electrical & Electronic Engineering from the University of Bath, United Kingdom. 

Dr Maida’s trajectory is filled with passion and purpose. When he was appointed to lead the NCC in this critical period, a segment of the country tried to cast aspersion on his personality. They used his age as a yardstick and insinuated that he got the job on the recommendation of a godfather somewhere. And not based on competence. 

As funny as this might sound, the speculation was rife in the media. Unfortunately, some believed the narrative. But those of us conversant with his trajectory celebrated. We knew his worth and what he would bring to the table in revamping the telecommunication sector.  

Dr Maida is media-shy. But he is a formidable personality. One that does not mince words. He is also a very passionate individual who knows nothing but excellence. He allows his actions to speak for him. And this much he has done since his appointment. Industry stakeholders are beginning to see that he is a man on a mission. And a mission to revamp the sector. 

Those who had reservations initially are now converts to the Maida’s school of purpose. Interestingly, they are now his advocates because of the laudable reforms he has introduced within a short period. He has matched his words with action. There are no sacred cows, and no player in the industry is above the law. 

For example, the NCC mandated Glo and MTN to bar telephone subscribers not linked to their National Identification Numbers on or before February 28, 2024. This indicates a man on a mission to re-position the sector for optimal results. 

President Bola Tinubu got it right with his appointment. The numerous reforms introduced speak volumes about a man on a mission to make things work. He does not have to grace the pages of newspapers to prove he can deliver on the mandate of the NCC. 

Suppose a fraction of those holding public offices have the same disposition and work ethic as Dr Aminu Maida. In that case, the country will experience tremendous growth and development. 

There is no doubt that he has the Midas touch. Everything he touches turns to gold. I won’t go into details about his exploits in his career. It has been brilliant, which he has brought to the table at the NCC. 

I recall an incident where the Chairman of the Association of Licensed Telecoms Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), Engr Gbenga Adebayo, welcomed the new EVC and prayed that his name, Maida, would help him offer a Midas touch that would transform the sector for good. 

He was not wrong. Dr Aminu Maida has offered the Midas touch in the operations of the NCC since he took over the helm of affairs. The NCC has assumed its regulatory role in the telecoms sector through actions and policies conforming to world standards. 

Another example of Dr Maida’s Midas touch is that Nigeria has witnessed a steady increase in active voice and internet subscriptions, including a drop in teledensity as contained in the latest telecommunications statistical indicators released by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), which have been adjusted to reflect the latest population growth figures and align with international best practices. 

The entire world is rapidly gravitating toward a system of economy anchored on the continuous and ubiquitous availability of information. Recent advances in
telecommunications technology have been essential in permitting information exchange to develop as a valuable commodity. This is what Dr Aminu Maida represents. 

Giving him a pass mark may be too early in the day. I disagree using the idiomatic expression that states, “Morning is an important time of day because how you spend your morning can often tell you what kind of day you are going to have” 

Dr Aminu Maida hit the ground running. He knows that there is a lot at stake if he acts otherwise. Interestingly, he has succeeded in getting stakeholders to buy into the telecoms sector. I can bet that there is more from his stable. Nigerians should expect a revamped telecommunication sector in the years ahead. 

I encourage him to leave no stone unturned. The stakes are too high for a mediocre performance at this critical point of our existence. He has started on a high note, and nothing short of the best would be accepted.

Odoma wrote this piece from Abuja.

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