THE recent appointment of Senator Biyi Durojaiye as the Chairman of the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) is a poignant demonstration that the man like old wine, is getting better and becoming vintage with the passage of time. It has also shown that being resourceful, consistent and reliable with a touch of uncommon integrity is never out of style. Clearly, it’s evident also that being recognised and given the nod to direct the affairs of a Commission that is so central to the life styles of the 21st century driven inexorably by a brazen show of zest and youthfulness is an indication that the man is a veritable voice across generations.
In a dispassionate analysis of the key personalities that shaped the Nigerian landscape in the past four decades, there are few Nigerians that can stand up and be counted in the rarefied league of Senator Durojaiye. There are also very few too who can walk their talk and speak with the courage of their convictions like him. Through travails and tribulations, he has campaigned when it calls for campaign, advocated when it’s the right strategy and also agitated when it becomes necessary and relevant. He was a first among equals with the accomplishments that God has enabled him to garner on his exemplary earthly journey. He earned his stripes and he has been well acknowledged for these achievements.
Having traversed corporate Nigeria as a legal luminary, a banker of repute, an astute manager of men and resources and also reaching the Olympian height of an Executive Director at the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Managing Director of the Nigeria Security Printing and Mint fondly referred to as MINT, the former president, alumni, National Policy and Strategic Study, Kuru Jos, had little or nothing to conquer other than to be an instrument in collaboration with likeminded Nigerians to rescue a nation that was drifting dangerously and calamitously towards a political and economic precipice.
With his rich intellectual background and vast knowledge, he is not only highly regarded by his contemporaries, he is widely consulted and his inputs held in very high esteem. This depth of understanding of the affairs of men and the swing of tides and events gives him an extra sense of confidence within his group and an edge of comfort among those that are less-endowed materially than himself. He is one of the few of the seasoned voice of Nigeria’s bright but fading past whose philosophy and ways of life still resonate with current expectations of a nation looking for a reinventing herself.
His unusual sense of fairness and justice made his choice of political philosophy and ideological leaning to draw him to a close knit family of the progressives. He became an extraordinarily strong supporter and promoter of an undiluted brand of progressive politics in Nigeria. It was therefore a simple choice to pitch camp with the Peoples Solidarity Party (PSP) and from there later to well oil political machine Social Democratic Party (SDP), which brought a type of political fervour that infused the much needed dynamism into Nigerian politics.
An adherent of the pure form of progressivism, Senator Durojaiye is a plus to the ranks of progressives not just in the South-West but in Nigeria. For him, being a progressive is more than a sticker and a badge. Being a progressive is embedded in his thoughts, responses and actions. It’s what defines his character both in public an in his private engagements. It is not a license for him to get into public office like many other progressives to whom the term needs some stretching, to line his purse with the nation’s treasure or to be appointed into public office and use it as an opportunity to flood that institution with his cronies.
It is, therefore, no surprise to the initiated in the progressive cycle that Senator Durojaiye was appointed as the chairman of the NCC by President Muhammadu Buhari himself based on integrity and incorruptibility. In a brief chat with a Media Chief recently, Durojaiye said his major concern was on how the NCC would expand the scope of the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in the country which is currently contributing just about 11 per cent to Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to around 20 per cent in the next two years. Beyond that he not only want to boost the nation’s revenue base, but also to provide jobs opportunities to the nation’s teaming youth population to whom this sector is ready made.
He promised to work on value re-orientation, ethics and customer satisfaction in the industry. Durojaiye said it was a criminal offense committed against the nation by the previous administrations not to have diversified the nation’s economy but only depended on oil. As a hardworking progressive, he is not afraid of setting standards with which his work and worth can be calibrated. He has come into NCC with a vision to give Nigerians voice and to ensure that within his strides there will be good governance, equity and fairness in the telecommunications sector.
There is no doubt whatsoever that NCC could do with a wave of the brand of progressive ideas that Senator Durojaiye is bringing with him. The Commission may have been set in its ways in almost two decades of operation but there is no saying that it has been smooth sailing and there are a couple of things that can be tweaked to benefit the Commission, the people and the nation. The new chairman will get his hands on a few of them that will leave marks that will be seen and appreciated for their significance for national development.
- Ayela is a veteran journalist based in Lagos.