By Emma Okonji
Some stakeholders in the telecoms industry have supported the selection of Dr. Ernest Ndukwe as the chairman, Board of Directors of MTN Nigeria.
MTN, last week, announced the replacement of six non-executive directors on its board, following the expiration of their tenure and in compliance with applicable codes of corporate governance.
MTN announced Ndukwe as the new Chairman Designate of MTN, to replace Pascal Dozie, with effect from September 2, 2019.
Commending the choice of Ndukwe, who is a former Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the telecoms industry regulator, the President, Association of Telecoms Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), Mr. Olusola Teniola, said the entire telecoms industry members were happy with the choice of Ndukwe, given his antecedents as a well-grounded telecoms person who understands the nitty-gritty of telecommunications operations in Nigeria.
Also, members of the New Dimension Shareholders Association, a prominent group of capital market investors and shareholders in notable companies quoted on the Nigerian Stock Exchange(NSE), have thrown their support for Ndukwe. In statement signed by its President, Patrick Ajudua, the group said: “The appointment is a welcome development because he is tested and well experienced in the telecoms industry.” The association expressed optimism that the new MTN board headed by Ndukwe would ensure transparency, compliance with corporate governance, and value addition to the shareholders.”
In a similar vein, the President, Proactive Shareholders Association, Taiwo Oderinde, urged the new board to shun any corporate governance lapses capable of dragging the image of the telecoms company through the mud.
According to him, “The new chairman, Dr. Ndukwe, is a man with a wealth of experience and connections in the telecommunications sector. As a one-time head of NCC, I believe with the support of other members of the board, he will bring this to bear in his new responsibility. I congratulate him and he should not let the shareholders and other stakeholders down.”
Ndukwe, who is fondly called Mr. Telecoms for his vast experience and rich contributions to the growth of telecommunications industry over the years, is a highly respected telecommunications professional, with his career gone full circle, starting from the private sector as the Managing Director of a notable telecommunications company. He moved into government service at the helm of the industry regulatory agency as Executive Vice Chairman of NCC and back to the private sector and now chairman of Nigeria’s largest telecoms operating company, MTN.
Ndukwe was an adjunct faculty at the Pan Atlantic University/Lagos Business School and also a Director of the School’s Infrastructure Centre. His passion for human capacity development in the industry led to the birth of the Digital Bridge Institute, an international centre for telecommunications and information technology studies, during his tour of duty as NCC boss.