Ernest Ndukwe, Shem Zagbanyi Nuhu: Where are they now?

This week, our searchlights fall on these respectable ex-public servants whose track-records while in office cannot be forgotten easily; ELEOJO IDACHABA writes.

Ernest Ndukwe

Dr. Ernest Ndukwe was once the executive vice chairman of Nigeria Communication Commission (NCC) and a telecommunications engineer with over 38 years experience in business management and in the telecommunications industry.

He is a fellow of several bodies like the Nigerian Society of Engineers (FNSE), Nigerian Institute of Management (FNIM) and Nigerian Academy of Engineering. Engr. Ndukwe while in NCC has represented Nigeria at various international events and is a regular resource person at local and international conferences and events. He was appointed the CEO of NCC in 2000 by former President Olusegun Obasanjo to midwife the mobile telecommunications revolution in the country, an assignment he successful delivered in 2003 following the licensing of two telecoms companies like MTN and ECONET.

After his initial tenure, he was re-appointed for a second term of five years because of his exceptional performances. Ndukwe thereafter proceeded to preside over the building of an internationally-respected institution thereby earning the commission the reputation of a strong, transparent and open regulatory agency. Also, under his tenure at the NCC, the ICT industry witnessed tremendous growth and transformation, leading to what is now referred to as ICT telecommunications revolution.

Prior to his stewardship at the NCC, he had held several senior and top level executive positions in leading multinational telecommunications companies to the extent that he became the vice chairman of the International Telecommunications Union Telecom Development Advisory Group representing Nigeria.

He began his professional career with Radio Communications Nigeria (RCN) Limited in 1976 and left for an in-service training while in the service of the Radio Communications Nigeria to the United States. On his return to Nigeria in August 1977, he continued his service with RCN and rose to the position of a maintenance supervisor in 1978 and later assistant engineering manager in 1979.

Much later, he was appointed as president of Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON). Aside serving as chairman of the Administrative Council of the African Telecommunications Union, he was also chairman of West African Telecom Regulators Assembly (WATRA). He had served on the Presidential Committee on Jobs Creation, served as Co-chairman of the Presidential Committee to develop strategy and roadmap for universal Broadband Access for Nigeria. After the expiration of his second tenure, he left office and went into private practice.

Since that time, it is no longer public knowledge about his present sojourn and what he is doing. Dr Ndukwe from every ramification did not disappoint Nigeria in all the assignments he undertook on behalf of the country. He is one ex-public servant whose tenure remains evergreen in the minds of many Nigerians.

Ima Niboro

Ima Niboro is a former managing director of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) during the later days of President Goodluck Jonathan before he was removed from office. Niboro was before then Jonathan’s special adviser on media rights from Jonathan’s days as vice-president. Originally, a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), he defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC) in 2016, following the defeat PDP suffered in the hands of APC in the 2015 general elections. After his defection, Niboro explained that he dumped his former party for the APC because of alleged poor and decaying state of infrastructure in his home state of Delta and that aligned himself with stakeholders in that state and at the central level for rapid development.

According to him, “My membership of the APC is true; it is not a sudden switch. I have had 18 months to study the situation as it concerned my ward, local government, community and even my state. I have to conclude that there is time for everything. This is the time for us in Delta to link up with the federal government in order to bring development to our land.”

Shem Zagbanyi Nuhu

Dr. Shem Zagbanyi Nuhu was the deputy governor of Niger state between 1999 and 2007, during the administration of late Abdulkadir Kure. During their time, this Dikko-born Gbagyi man was also the state commissioner for health, apparently because of his professional background.

Zagbayi started his education at LEA Primary School Dikko in 1963, before he enrolled at Government Secondary School, Kagoro in Kaduna state in 1970, but transferred to Government Secondary School Suleja in 1973 and obtained his WASC in 1974. He was in Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria in 1975 and graduated in 1978 with a Second Class Upper Division in Pharmacy. He also did a Post Graduate programme at the University of Bradford, England and graduated with master’s and doctorate degrees in 1983 and 1985, respectively.

Zagbayi who lectured at various times in ABU and University of Jos is said to be the first person to bag a doctorate in the entire Suleja Emirate. He had risen to the position of director in Niger state Ministry of Health before he joined politics in 1999. After he left office as a deputy governor in 2007, he went into political hibernation. He however made a surprise return seven years after, precisely in 2014; this time as a senator representing Niger-east, a vacuum that was created by the death of Senator Dahiru Awaisu Kuta. His party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), shockingly gave him the ticket for the senatorial bye-election which he won to defeat his main rival, David Umaru of the All Progressives Congress (APC). However, since Zagbayi’s tenure elapsed at the Senate in 2015 and he did not re-contest, nothing has been heard of him anymore.

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