President Bola Tinubu has dismissed the Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of three agencies under the Federal Ministry of Communications, Innovations, and Digital Economy, with immediate effect.
The CEOs affected by this decision are Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Sunday Adepoju of the Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST), and Tukur Funtua of the Nigerian Communications Satellite Limited.
The President announced this development through a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Ajuri Ngelale, titled ‘President Tinubu appoints new leadership across the communications, innovation, and digital economy sectors.’
The statement also named the newly appointed CEOs, including Aminu Maida as the Executive Vice Chairman and CEO of NCC, Nkechi Egerton-Idehen as the Managing Director of NIGCOMSAT, and Tola Odeyemi as the Postmaster General of NIPOST.
However, Kashifu Abdullahi and Dr Vincent Olatunji have been reappointed as the Director General of the National Information Technology Development Agency and the National Commission.
Ngelale announced that Idris Alubankudi has been approved by Tinubu for the position of Special Adviser on Technology and Digital Economy. The purpose of Alubankudi’s appointment is to utilize Nigeria’s strong technological and digital economic capabilities to enhance the nation’s economy and promote improved financial inclusion.
The sudden removal of the Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) may have caught many by surprise in the telecommunications industry, especially considering that he was reappointed in 2020 for a second term of five years.
However, it is important to note that the President holds the authority to hire and fire executives of government agencies and parastatals at any given time.
Danbatta was initially appointed by former President Buhari in August 2015 to serve a five-year term, which ended in 2020.
After his reappointment and confirmation by the Senate in July of the same year, Danbatta was set to serve another five-year term, which would have concluded in 2025.
Nevertheless, Danbatta’s situation differs from that of the recently removed Postmaster General of NIPOST and the CEO of NIGCOMSAT. The appointment of Sunday Adepoju by President Buhari took place in October 2022, while Engineer Tukur Mohammed Lawal Funtua of NIGCOMSAT was appointed in December of the same year. Both individuals had only held their positions for a short period of time before their untimely exits.