Observers of the telecoms industry in Nigeria are asking questions on the morality of the decision to make former Telecoms czar Engr. Ernest Ndukwe the chairman of MTN Nigeria. This comes on the heels of the announcement that the retired MTNN Chairman Pascal Dozie will now be replaced by Ndukwe who had once held sway as the chief regulator of the activities of operators in the telecomms business space in Nigeria.
Some keen observers were taken aback when it was announced that Ernest Ndukwe, former chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), has been appointed as the chairman of MTN Nigeria.
In a notice sent to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) on Wednesday, the company announced that Pascal Dozie will handover as chairman in September and Ndukwe’s tenure will be effective from September 2. Questions are asked widely on his romance with the operator and weather it was started while he was still serving as the industry’s czar.
Pascal, who was also the founder of Diamond Bank Plc, has been involved in MTN Nigeria since inception in 2001.
As of May 17, 2019, his shares at MTN Nigeria (which is 1.67% of the company) was valued at N37.07 billion.
Other members of the board retiring are:
- Sani Bello – vice-chairman
- Victor Odili – non-executive director
- Ahmed Dasuki – non-executive director
- Babatunde Folawiyo – non-executive director
- Gbenga Oyebode – non-executive director
Members of the newly-appointed board who would be independent non-executive directors are:
- Michael Onochie Ajukwu: He is the director of Keystone Bank and former executive director, corporate banking at the United Bank for Africa (UBA). He is the chairman of Altech West Africa Limited, Munca Properties Limited and Mobax Nigeria Ltd. He sits on the board of Intafact Beverages Ltd, a subsidiary of SABMiller in Nigeria and Novotel, a member of Accor Hotels group
- Muhammad K. Ahmad: He is the former director of the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Company (NDIC) and pioneer director-general of the National Pension Commission (PENCOM). He currently chairs the boards of Polaris Bank (former Skye Bank); Taj Bank, Credent Capital Advisory and FATE Foundation.
The newly appointed non-executive directors are:
- Andrew Alli: A chartered accountant with Coopers & Lybrand (PricewaterhouseCoopers) in the United Kingdome, he is a member of the advisory board of the Lagos Business School (LBS). He became the CEO of SouthBridge in 2018. He has served as a non-executive director on the boards of ARM Cement Limited and Guaranty Trust Bank Plc.
- Omobola Johnson: She was the minister of communications and technology between 2011 and 2015. Johnson is the founding chairperson of Women in Management and Business (WIMBIZ) and sits on the boards of Guinness Nigeria Plc and World Wide Web Foundation.
- A.B. Mahmoud: is the Managing Partner and one of the founding partners of the law Firm of Dikko & Mahmoud. sits on the boards of various companies and charities including Stanbic IBTC Pension Managers and Aliko Dangote Foundation
- Ifueko Okauru: She was the chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and Joint Tax Board (JTB) between 2004 and 2012. She has also served a director on the boards of Nigerian Breweries Plc and Seplat Development Company Limited.