Senate Confirms Buhari’s Nominee Rejected by Eighth Assembly as NCC Commissioner

Aliyu Abubakar

Deji Elumoye in Abuja

The Senate Thursday approved the appointment of Mr. Aliyu Abubakar, as a Non-Executive Commissioner on the Board of the National Communications Commission (NCC), three years after his nomination was rejected by the eighth Senate

Abubakar, from Bauchi State, was nominated last week by President Muhammadu Buhari for the same position despite his rejection by the eighth Senate due to his low educational qualifications.

The upper legislative chamber also confirmed the appointment of three others – Uba Maska (North West), who was re-appointed as Executive Commissioner, Prof. Millionaire Abowei (South-south) as Non-Executive Commissioner and Abdulazeez Mohammed Salman (North Central) as Non-Executive Commissioner.

Just as it happened in 2016, Abubakar’s nomination faced stiff opposition on the grounds that his nomination was rejected in the eighth Senate for having a low educational qualification of a diploma.

Abubakar presented a diploma in computer certificate, which falls short of the requirement of the NCC Act for Commissioners of the telecom regulator.

Senator Binos Dauda Yaru (Adamawa South) had raised an objection to Abubakar ‘s nomination, saying he discovered that the nominee would represent his geopolitical zone and decided to find out some information about him.

“I goggled his name and what came out was what happened in the eighth Senate. Since the nominee has not acquired additional qualification since then, so, I now wonder what makes him qualified.

Yaru was however ruled out of order by the Senate President, Dr. Ahmad Lawan, who said the Senate would rely on the report of its panel.

“We have a report before us from our committee, which did its work on behalf of the Senate. If there was any protest or petition, the committee would have reflected it. So far, we must rely on what the committee reports recommend”

The Senate President insisted that the committee had cleared Abubakar for meeting the requirements of appointment into the board of the commission.

The confirmation of the four nominees was sequel to the recommendation of the Ad hoc Committee on the Screening of Presidential Nominees that screened the nomination nominees into the governing board of the NCC.

Presenting the report, its Chairman, Senator Teslim Folarin (Oyo Central) said President Muhammadu Buhari forwarded names of the nominees for Senate confirmation in accordance with section 8(1) of the NCC Act.

According to him, the committee after scrutinising the resume of the nominees and carrying out checks on their activities and satisfied that they have no record of indictment , recommended that the Senate do confirm their appointments.

Senate Minority Leader, Enyinnaya Abaribe (Abia South), however, noted that the South-east representative on the board of the NCC had resigned last year to pursue political office and has not been replaced.

He, therefore, appealed to President Buhari to appoint someone from the zone to fill the existing vacancy on the NCC board.

The Senate also yesterday confirmed the nomination of Professor Habu Galadima for appointment as the substantive Director General of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), Kuru.