BY A. OJO
In the past couple of days, the unfortunate news of the ‘arrest’ of the Director General of the NBC, Emeka Mba, over a fictitious N15Billion fraud, has been circulated wildly. This has been one-sided and malicious by yet to be identified accusers who are determined to smear the name of a gentleman whose only crime is doing the right thing, by giving his best in ensuring we have a sane and vibrant broadcast industry. Unfortunately, this doesn’t sit well with people who believe otherwise.
This man does not deserve the treatment being dealt him.
HERE ARE THE FACTS.
1. Thirteen (13) Set Top Box Manufacturers met the requirements and were selected based on their stated and proven capabilities over a very rigorous process, which lasted for 8 Months – 12 Months. This was not done in isolation but in a very transparent and within the ambit of the laws governing the NBC.
2. Let it be known that there is absolutely NO money missing.
4. The STB Manufacturers have committed over N10Billion Naira already into the process, importing parts for the manufacturing process and setting up facilities in Nigeria. Meaning that there are thousands of jobs already being lined up from this.
5. Up to 66 Frequencies will be freed up and each Frequency will be sold for at least $100M (USD). Which translates to great revenue in the trillion Naira range to the Government.
6. Government Policy committed to a subsidy for the STB Manufacturers and that is what NBC paid out. These arrangement and agreements had been in place before TSA directive was given.
7. Everything and all i.e. every Amount left over from MTN Lease fees was transferred to TSA Accounts accordingly. Nothing was hidden in the process. All funds declared, approvals sought and received, as should be.
8. The model adopted by the NBC under Emeka Mba, has been universally hailed and recommended by the CTU (Commonwealth Telecomms Union) as a model to be adopted by other African And Commonwealth Countries as the model to adopt in overcoming their DSO challenges.
The following is what will happen if structures set in place by Mr. Mba’s leadership is derailed:
1. At a time when a lot of young people are suffering under the weight of unemployment, there will be a huge loss of Jobs, as there are plans to start manufacturing these set top boxes in Nigeria. Thereby leading to a loss in economic growth and most of all regressing the digital process, thus making Nigeria miss the digital switchover train.
2. Youth Expression and Empowerment Avenues will be blocked, creating
Discontent and contradicting the growth agenda of the APC-led Government.
3. Send an unmistakable / wrong signal that being creative and innovative in Finding solutions to the Nation’s problems is a crime and will be punished.
4. Discourages Innovation in Government which is a contrary message being that Mr. President recently launched an innovation centre in Abuja.
5. Sacrifices those who work for the good of the country, making those who are equipped and qualified to contribute in various positions, shy away from doing so, an unfortunate rise in brain-drain syndrome.