The Senate has approved the appointment of Aliyu Abubakar, as a non-executive commissioner on the board of the National Communications Commission (NCC).
Abubakar, from Bauchi State, was nominated to represent the North-East last week on the board by President Muhammadu Buhari.
He had been nominated and rejected by the 8th Senate because of low educational qualifications.
He was rejected along with a former speaker of the Kwara State House of Assembly, Yisa Ezekiel, whose qualification as a nurse posed a hitch for him to satisfy the criteria.
The lawmakers hinged their decision on Abubakar’s lack of adequate training and experience, as stipulated by the law. They also questioned the genuineness of the available documents he presented for screening.
Abubakar’s paraded qualification of diploma in computer falls short of the requirement of the NCC Act for commissioners of the telecom regulator.
The Act stipulates that appointees for that role must have qualification and experience in stated relevant fields.
The listed expertise areas are finance or accounting; law; consumer affairs; telecommunications engineering; information technology; engineering generally; economics; and public administration.
“So there is no way someone who does not possess the basic skills or expertise to key into our vision for a sustainable communications industry could have been cleared to serve on the board.
“For instance, one was a career nurse and the other was a holder of a one-year diploma in computer as highest qualification. The question is: what inputs would they be making towards consolidating on the on-going improvements in the agency,” a Senate report noted at the time.
The lawmakers said Aliyu was “a candidate who is not prepared for the demands of the office such as required” of the NCC job
A Senate committee headed by Gilbert Nnaji said Abubakar could not produce credible educational certificates for the committee to verify at the screening.
“He obviously lacks the professional and educational disciplines provided in section 7(1) (a-h) of the Nigerian Communications Act 2003 which stipulates the qualification of the Commission’s Board”, Nnaji said then.
The committee queried the Police Extract and Court Affidavit Abubakar submitted for the loss of his School Certificates, dated September 21, 2016.
The committee expressed suspicion of Abubakar’s claim that the documents got lost on September 19, 2016, well after he had been nominated for the position.
Nnaji said the nominee only collected his diploma in computer studies, completed at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University in 2000, in September 2016.
“For his Diploma in Computer Studies completed at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University in 2000, Mr Aliyu Abubakar ultimately collected the result in September 2016 because, according to him, he did not see any reason for its collection as he never intended to do any government job with it”, Nnaji said.
Abubakar’s Senate hearing at the time was his heated debate as he had been caught criticizing the Senate.
The nominee, who was confronted with evidence of his criticism of the legislative arm of the government, including leading protests at the gates of the National Assembly, owned up to the position and proceeded to defend his stance.
He attacked the Senate as extravagant and called for its scrapping.
“The senate is an avenue for wastage of scarce economic resources of the country and should be abolished to save the country’s finances,” he had told the lawmakers.
Other nominees confirmed by the 9th Senate on Thursday were Uba Maska (Executive Commissioner), Professor Millionaire Abowei (Non Executive Commissioner) and Abdulazeez Salman (Non-Executive Commissioner).